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ELECTRONICS STORES SPARK INTEREST AS CHRISTMAS RETAIL CONTINUES TO PERFORM STRONGLY

With Christmas less than two weeks away, Hitwise reports that the online retail sector is still performing strongly despite ongoing concerns about the poor pre-Christmas performance of traditional high street shops. The Hitwise Shopping & Classifieds category reached 13.11% market share in the first week of December, an all-time high in terms of weekly data and a 4% increase on the previous week's figure of 12.6% market share. Activity dipped slightly to 12.9% in the week to December 11th.

One retail sub-sector that is performing particularly strongly in the lead-up to Christmas is Appliances & Electronics, which includes the websites of powerful high street retailers such as Currys (www.currys.com) and Comet (www.comet.co.uk) as well as online-only stores like Dabs.com (www.dabs.com). With digital cameras and mobile phones topping the list of most searched-for products according to Hitwise Search Terms data for the retail industry, it is not surprising that this category has increased its market share by 16% since the first week of November - a leap from 6.25% of traffic to the online shopping sector for the week ending November 6th to 7.24% for the week ending December 11th.

A look at the top 10 electronics retailers during December reveals that the biggest heavyweights in this category still belong to high street chains: Comet, Currys, Dixons (www.dixons.co.uk) and Tesco Electrical Warehouse (www.tesco.com/electrical) are the top four electronics retailers in the UK, each with well over 4% market share of traffic to the category.

Hitwise Search Terms data also shows that amongst the top 10 search terms typed in by visitors to websites in the Appliances & Electronics category, only one belonged to a purely online retailer, 'Dabs'. The other top terms, apart from 'mobile phones', all relate to high street retail chains, including 'Jessops', 'The Link', 'Richer Sounds' and 'Carphone Warehouse'. This highlights the powerful brand recognition commanded by these offline chains despite the obvious competitiveness of many online electronics stores.

SHOPPING & CLASSIFIEDS – APPLIANCES & ELECTRONICS: TOP 10 WEBSITES

Based on data for the week ending 11th December 2004

Rank
Name
Domain
Market Share

1
Comet UK
www.comet.co.uk
9.85%

2
Currys
www.currys.co.uk
8.58%

3
Dixons Online
www.dixons.co.uk
5.20%

4
Tesco Electrical Warehouse
www.tesco.com/electrical
4.22%

5
O2 Shop
shop.o2.co.uk
3.33%

6
Carphone Warehouse
www.carphonewarehouse.com
3.24%

7
dabs.com
www.dabs.com
2.98%

8
The Orange Shop
shop.orange.co.uk
2.41%

9
The Link
www.thelink.co.uk
2.15%

10
Maplin Electronics
www.maplin.co.uk
2.06%



SHOPPING & CLASSIFIEDS – APPLIANCES & ELECTRONICS: TOP 10 SEARCH TERMS

Based on data for four weeks ending 11th December 2004

Rank
Search Term
Share

1
currys
5.91%

2
comet
5.12%

3
dixons
3.59%

4
carphone warehouse
1.63%

5
mobile phones
1.09%

6
the link
0.97%

7
jessops
0.96%

8
richer sounds
0.79%

9
dabs
0.59%

10
www.currys.co.uk
0.56%

About Hitwise:

Hitwise is the world's leading online competitive intelligence service. Each day, Hitwise monitors how more than 25 million Internet users interact with over 500,000 websites across 160 industry categories.

By monitoring more people, more websites, more often, Hitwise provides marketers with timely and actionable marketing insights on how their online presence compares to competitive websites. Companies use this information to maximize the return on their online investment, in efforts such as search marketing, affiliate programs, online advertising, visitor segmentation, content development and lead generation.

Hitwise collects Internet usage information via a combination of ISP data partnerships and opt-in mega panels, and complies with local and international privacy legislation as audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Founded in 1997, Hitwise is a privately held company, headquartered in New York City and operates in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.

More information about Hitwise is available at www.hitwise.co.uk

For media enquiries, please contact:

Jannie Cahill
jannie.cahill@hitwise.com
Tel: 020 7378 3619

Published on: 12:00AM on 16th December 2004