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Outlook for Online Holiday Shopping

Boot Camp feature for Monday, November 15, 2004

The outlook for online holiday shopping. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Don't look for as many free shipping offers….or added discounts for buying those holiday gifts online this year. Forrester Research says retailers won't be spending as much this year to spur online sales. According to the report….U.S. online holiday sales…between Thanksgiving and Christmas will rise to 13.2 billion dollars….a 20 percent increase over last year. That's significant, but less than the 31 percent growth last year. At the world's biggest shipping company, United Parcel Service, CEO Michael Eskew tells us…

"We still see an awful lot of progress in that area…and it's not just pure, online players. It's online shopping in all kinds of channels for all kinds of different companies. It's been a great growth model. It's been something that we've really enjoyed the rewards of."

Thanks to partnerships with companies like Amazon.com, the number one online retailer. The number of people who now do at least some of their buying online…is one reason why UPS is hiring tens of thousands of temporary workers…

"We look to hire every year at this time, as you know. And this year we think it's going to be about 70 thousand people."

Forrester Research is saying online shopping has matured…become mainstream…and so the growth naturally slows down. The National Retail Federation, for instance, is forecasting offline holiday sales growth of 4.5 percent. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.