Retail sales online, excluding travel purchases, are set to grow to $204 billion in 2008 from $174.5 billion last year, fueled by sales of apparel, computers and autos, according to a survey conducted by Internet analysis firm Forrester Research for Shop.org, the online arm of the National Retail Federation trade group. That projection is below the 21 percent increase seen in the prior year, but industry officials attribute it to the maturing of the business, not the sluggish economy.According to the article Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org said that E-commerce "is clearly the bright spot in retailing."
This good news stands in contrast to the outlook projected for the economy as a whole and for many traditional retailers in particular. Retailers have been paring down growth and having to deal with customers who are having to deal with higher prices for gas and good. To add to the worries are the housing slump and a weak job market. The only retailers doing brisk business of late are discounters and whole sale clubs, as shoppers turn to less expensive stores.