The National Retail Federation (NRF) and Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR), in conjunction with Greenfield Online, today announced the results of the latest NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index. According to the sixth survey in this monthly series, sales of spending on gadgets in a number of categories increased significantly, while sales of flowers online dropped from last month’s high.

“Father’s Day and college graduation sent online sales of small appliances, toys/video games, sporting goods, and tools and hardware through the roof,” said David M. Cooperstein, research director at Forrester. “Overall spending in these four categories alone increased by 51% in June.”

Other leading small-ticket categories include software, books, and music, which increased from a total of $374.8 million in May to $499.8 million in June, as well as jewelry, which grew from $54 million to $76.8 million. Total spending in small-ticket item categories increased from $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion. Big-ticket items also experienced a boost in sales, with computer hardware and consumer electronics leading the pack. Combined, these categories expanded from $455.2 million in May to $643.6 million in June. Online hotel reservations also boomed from $277.8 million to $420.1 million. Overall, online spending for big-ticket items grew from $2.1 billion in May to $2.5 billion in June.

Total spending increased from $3.4 billion in May to more than $4 billion in June, with the average spent per consumer increasing from $249 to $288.

“The strong surge in online spending indicated in the June Index — particularly in some of Internet retail’s most mature categories such as books and music — flies in the face of recent reports questioning the viability of the Internet as a shopping channel,” said Scott Silverman, NRF’s vice president, Internet Retailing. “It’s important that retailers take these trends into consideration as they develop their Internet retail strategies for the upcoming back-to-school and holiday seasons.”

The garden supplies category was added to the Retail Index in May. Although the category contributed $31.9 million to the total spending online and was reflected in May’s total number, $3.4 billion, it was not represented on the graph. We apologize for the error.

About The Index
The NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index measures, on a monthly basis, the growth and seasonality of online shopping based on data collected from online shoppers. The Index is based on 5,000 responses during the first 10 business days of the month from an online panel developed by Greenfield Online. The survey results for June 2000 were fielded from June 1 through June 5, 2000.

The monthly panel is weighted to Forrester Research’s Benchmark Panel, which surveyed nearly 90,000 US and Canadian members of a consumer mail panel developed by NPD Group, a market research firm. Data was weighted to demographically represent the North American population. The survey was fielded from late November 1999 to February 2000.

About The National Retail Federation
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association with membership that encompasses all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, and independent stores. NRF members represent an industry that encompasses more than 1.4 million US retail establishments, employs more than 20 million people — about 1 in 5 American workers — and registered 1999 sales of $3.0 trillion. NRF’s international members operate stores in more than 50 nations. In its role as the retail industry’s umbrella group, NRF also represents 32 national and 50 state associations in the US as well as 36 international associations representing retailers abroad. The Index can be found on the National Retail Federation Web site at