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May 14th, 2007
Online Sales Shift: Apparel Outpaced Computers in ’06

by Ylan Q. Mui
WashingtonPost.com

Online shoppers spent more money last year on apparel than on computers for the first time, a reflection of the Web’s increasingly broad appeal, according to a report to be released today by a leading retail trade group.

Consumers spent $18.3 billion on clothes, accessories and shoes in 2006, up 61 percent from the previous year. Computer hardware and software sales totaled $17.2 billion, up 20 percent from the previous year. Total online retail spending, excluding travel, grew 25 percent to $146.5 billion.

“If you were looking for a sign that online retail has arrived and gone mainstream, this would be the sign that you would be looking for,” said Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org, which commissioned the report.

The group is an arm of the National Retail Federation. The study was conducted by Forrester Research, and 174 online retailers were surveyed.

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