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Web traffic tumbles


It was a rough holiday season for Target, and, despite aggressive promotion of its online offering, traffic to the retailer’s Web site declined compared to last year. According to comScore, a company that monitors online traffic, the number of unique visitors to during the Nov. 1-through-Dec. 23 timeframe declined to 46.8 million compared with 47.3 million the year before. The company was hardly along in its online difficulties as retailers such as Dell, Circuit City, JCPenney, Toys“R”Us and eBay saw their traffic decline, while traffic to was flat, even though all things electronic were hot this holiday season.

Notable retailers who saw an increase in traffic included and ComScore reported 76.2 million unique visitors to Amazon Web sites compared with 70.9 million a year earlier and said had 51.5 million unique visitors compared with 49.6 million last year. ComScore said Apple, Sears and Macy’s also had an increase in online traffic.

Overall, the firm said sales for the Nov. 1 through Dec. 23 were $25.5 billion, a 3% decline from $26.3 billion the prior year.

“This marks the first time we’ve seen negative growth rates for the holiday season since we began tracking e-commerce in 2001,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “The combination of having five fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas and the severe economic headwinds faced by consumers has made this a really tough season for retailers, both offline and online.”

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