Online holiday sales seen up 8 percent – otherwise mediocre gains

Santa been smoking the seeds, again!

U.S. online sales are expected to rise 8 percent this holiday season, with mass market retailers who can offer discounts performing best, according to Forrester Research Inc.

The research firm said it expects online retail sales in November and December to reach $44.7 billion this year, up from $41.4 billion a year ago, providing a bright spot to a retail industry that could see total sales fall.

“Despite the lingering effects of the global financial crisis, the online space remains the retail industry’s growth engine,” Forrester said in its report.

Last year, total holiday sales logged their worst performance in nearly four decades after consumers cut back onspending in a global financial crisis. Online sales rose only 5 percent last holiday, breaking a multiyear streak of double-digit gains, according to Forrester.

This year…the National Retail Federation has forecast that total holiday sales will decline 1 percent…

For its part, Amazon forecast that sales during the holiday quarter could far exceed Wall Street’s early estimates.

About the only portion of our family purchases that doesn’t regularly happen online is groceries. If I ever decide to buy a new pickup, I imagine that will be a brick-and-mortar purchase.

That’s about it, folks.

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