Online Jewelry, Watch Sales Down 22% since Cyber Monday

Online jewelry and Watch sales during the first five days in December declined 22 percent, year-over-year, making it one of the weakest performing categories for the period, according to digital tracking firm comScore.

Only the category of “Music, Movies & Videos,” (down 24 percent) gave a weaker performance for the period beginning with Cyber Monday (Dec. 1)—considered by the e-commerce community to be the kick-off to the heaviest part of the online holiday shopping season—through Dec. 5.

Overall, for the five-day period, online retail sales totaled $3.74 billion (excluding travel), up 9 percent versus year ago, the Reston, Va.-based company said. Two individual days in the past week achieved more than $800 million in online spending: Dec. 1 (Cyber Monday) with $846 million, and Dec. 2 with $823 million.

The fastest growing product categories during the period were Sport & Fitness (up 35 percent) and Consumer Electronics (up 24 percent). Apparel & Accessories, the second largest retail category in terms of dollar sales (after Computer Hardware) during this period, reported a 16 percent sales increase for the period.

Holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 35 days of the November – December 2008 holiday season (through Dec. 5) totaled, $14.92 billion, essentially the same level compared to the corresponding days last year.

“The online holiday shopping season has picked up noticeably since Thanksgiving as consumers have given in to the holiday spirit – and very attractive retailer discounts,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “Particularly encouraging is the growth of 9 percent in online sales that has occurred since Cyber Monday. While this growth is certainly a positive development in this tough retail season, it also needs to be put into perspective. With the compressed time period between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year—five days shorter than last year—we need to see continued strong growth during the critical weeks between today and Christmas if this year’s shopping season is to at least match that of last year.”

During the five-day period since Cyber Monday, traffic to retail sites is up 2 percent versus year ago, with many sites drawing a substantial number of visitors, comScore reports. EBay topped the list with 36 million unique visitors (up 9 percent), while three of the top ten retailer sites saw gains versus year ago: Amazon Sites (up 10 percent), Wal-Mart (up 7 percent), and Apple Inc. (up 29 percent).

So far in 2008 (through Dec. 5), retail spending online has increased 9 percent, year-over-year, to more than $102.1 billion.