AOL's 'Net Holiday Sales Rise to US$2.5 Billion

America Online Inc. saw its online retail sales more than double this season over the previous holiday season to US$2.5 billion dollars, the company announced this week.

According to the company's figures, AOL users were responsible for more than 60 percent of the $4 billion Forrester Research Inc. estimated would be spent online between the end of November and New Years Day. AOL customers spent over $10 billion in 1999, according to a statement.

Citing numbers from the Internet Research Group, two-thirds of AOL's customers are now shopping online, AOL said. In addition, over 2.5 million of those users made their first ever online purchase during this holiday season.

The average buyer spent $300 online over the holidays, which is also up 50 percent from last season, and 95 percent of all buyers said they are likely to shop online again in the next 6 months, AOL said.

The items that users tended to search for on AOL's e-commerce site, Shop@AOL, were the same those bought in traditional bricks and mortar stores, with Nintendo's Game Boy ranking first, followed by Pokemon items and Mattel Barbie toys.

The five most popular categories at the AOL online mall were lingerie, toys, mobile electronics, movies and music, with athletic shoes and apparel coming in fifth.

AOL, in Dulles, Virginia, can be reached at +1-703-448-8700 or at http://www.aol.com/.

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