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Reports: Online Sales Strong for Thanksgiving Period

Holiday Shoppers Out in Force This Past WeekendNEW YORK-Retailers put up strong sales numbers during the just-completed "cyber" sales period stretching from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, according to reports from retailers and research firms.

IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, IBM's e-commerce research arm, said online sales on Cyber Monday finished 8.5 percent ahead of last year's Cyber Monday, which included a gain of 27.6 percent in mobile-commerce sales. Cyber Monday capped what the research firm called "a record five-day span for holiday shopping," and said its analysis was based on consumer transaction data.

Another research firm, comScore, said Cyber Monday shopping brought in $2.038 billion in sales from desktop computers, up 17 percent from Cyber Monday 2013 and the first time desktop shopping exceeded $2 billion on a Cyber Monday. For the Nov. 1-Dec. 1 period, sales through desktops were up 16 percent, which included gain of 32 percent for Thanksgiving Day, 26 percent for Black Friday and 24 percent for the Thanksgiving-Cyber Monday period as a whole.

On the individual retailer front, Walmart said page views on walmart.com totaled more than 1.5 billion between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday. The retailer also said Cyber Monday was its biggest day for online orders in its history, although a statement from the company did not provide a figure for orders.

A statement from Sears Holdings, parent of both Sears and Kmart, said the two retailers were "encouraged" by the traffic experienced on its online platforms, sears.com and kmart.com. Imran Jooma, the parent company's executive vice president, said home appliances, tools, outerwear and consumer electronics received the most interest from members of the company's Shop My Way program, and that mobile also enjoyed "tremendous growth."

Jooma said, "Clearly, holiday shopping--especially online this year--has become less a one-day make-or-break event and evolved into more of a multiday happening. It's a retail trend we anticipated and why we decided to officially declare (the Thanksgiving-Cyber Monday period) 'Cyber Week' for our members, giving them week-long specials, more convenience in how they receive their purchases and a reason to keep coming back to our dot-com sites."