The National Retail Federation and Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR), in conjunction with Greenfield Online, announced today the results of the second NRF/Forrester Online Retail Index. According to the second survey in a monthly series, jewelry and furniture sales grew in February, while traditional categories, including books, music, and software, hit a lull.
“Valentine’s Day was a big reason why consumers spent over $17 million more in February on jewelry than in January,” said David M. Cooperstein, research director at Forrester. “The increase was also due to the success of aggressive marketing campaigns from high-end jewelers.”
In addition to an increase in jewelry sales, the second NRF/Forrester Index indicates that online furniture sales grew from $22 million in January to $38 million in February. Furniture got a boost from online stores that started advertising their presence. While the jewelry and furniture categories grew last month, spending in traditional online categories, including books, music, and software, experienced a calm. Combined sales in these three categories fell from $554.1 million to $420.9 million.
Results from the February Index indicate that although consumers spent the same amount on average in February as they did in January, there were fewer shoppers. More than 62% of total consumers purchased in January for a total of 13.7 million households, while 57.4% purchased in February — only 12.6 million households.
“The decline in online retail spending from January to February is interesting, in light of the gain in overall retail spending for the same period announced earlier this week by the Department of Commerce,” said Scott Silverman, NRF vice president of Internet Retailing. “The Internet as a retail channel remains volatile, but as this channel matures we expect online spending to more closely follow the overall industry trend.”
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 to an online panel fielded by Greenfield Online during the first 10 business days of each month. The survey results for February 2000 were fielded from March 1, 2000, through March 6, 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 represent the North American population demographically. The survey was fielded from late November 1999 to February 2000.
About The National Retail Federation
The National Retail Federation (NRF) 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 www.nrf.com.
About Greenfield Online
Greenfield Online, Inc. is the world’s only fully Internet-enabled, full-service marketing research provider. The company pioneered the concept of online research and now is developing additional pure-play, Web-based information systems. Leading corporations rely on Greenfield Online for consumer and business-to-business studies that are faster, better, and richer than previously possible.
Additionally, the Greenfield Online Digital Consumer tracking studies examine numerous eCommerce subjects and important vertical markets. Incorporated in 1995, the company is headquartered in Wilton, Conn., with a satellite office in San Francisco. Additional information about Greenfield Online and its services can be found on the company’s Web site at www.greenfield.com.