E-tailers Report Strong Holiday Sales

E-tailers Report Strong Holiday Sales
Piperlime.com has seen heavy demand for boots this holiday season

Cash register bells are jingling — at least virtually — this holiday season for online retailers.

A new ComScore report, released Tuesday, said holiday spending season-to-date is almost $20 billion in the first 34 days of the season, a 15 percent increase over the year-ago period.

Retailers polled by Footwear News said it’s been a strong selling season.

According to Jyothi Rao, SVP and GM of Gilt Groupe, the holidays started strong, with a “record breaking week” surrounding Black Friday.

While the site didn’t offer any promotional discounts, she said, they increased the number of product releases (every three hours instead of once, at noon) and extended free shipping beyond the normal parameters.

The footwear category, recording double-digit comps, has been a standout for the site. “It’s one of our fastest-growing categories,” Rao said.

Rao highlighted boots as bestsellers. “Flat boots specifically have been a trend. We can’t seem to have enough riding boots,” she said.

Boots — whether ankle, cold or rainy weather styles — have been driving business at Piperlime.com as well, according to the site’s GM and VP Jennifer Gosselin.

“We saw a little bit of softness in boots early in the season, but it’s really turned around, which has been great,” she said. “Riding boots are definitely top-of-mind for consumers, and that’s really paid off.”

And while the consumer picture has been “a little volatile,” Gosselin added, Piperlime has seen “really robust growth” in the top tier of its product, and it plans to add new brands in the category to capitalize.

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