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Company News

UPDATE 1-Black Friday Web shopping up 11 pct -comScore

 * Web shoppers spend $595 million on Black Friday
 * Marks an 11 percent gain over last year's Black Friday
 * Amazon and Walmart.com top two sites for visits
 SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Holiday shoppers in the
United States spent some $595 million online on Black Friday,
up 11 percent from last year, with Amazon.com and Walmart.com
the most visited sites, according to analytics firm comScore.
 Visits to Amazon.com AMZN.O rose 28 percent, followed by
the online unit of Wal-Mart Stores Inc WMT.N, which grew 22
percent. The two companies have already engaged in a heated
battle for market share this holiday, with each lowering prices
on select merchandise.   
 Since Nov. 1, some $10.57 billion has been spent online in
the United States for the holiday season, representing a 3
percent gain, according to comScore SCOR.O.
 "This is a very encouraging start," said comScore Chairman
Gian Fulgoni in a statement.
 Earlier this week, the company said it expects total
holiday e-commerce spending to rise 3 percent to $28.8 billion
from $28 billion in the previous season when shoppers sharply
curtailed spending amid the global financial meltdown.
 The robust Web sales on Black Friday speak to retailers'
attractive discounts online even on a weekend known for driving
shoppers to brick-and-mortar stores, said Fulgoni.
 "While this acceleration in spending suggests the online
holiday season may be shaping up slightly more optimistically
than anticipated, it may also reflect the heavy discounting and
creative promotions being put forth by retailers that now
encompass the use of social networks such as Facebook and
Twitter," said Fulgoni.
 Cyber Monday is the day considered the kick-off to the
online spending season, when consumers return to work from the
long Thanksgiving weekend and use their employers' fast
Internet connections to purchase online.
 (Reporting by Alexandria Sage, editing by Matthew Lewis)
 ((alexandria.sage@thomsonreuters.com, + 1 415-677-3923;
Reuters Messaging: alexandria.sage.reuters.com@reuters.net))
 ((See blogs.reuters.com/shop-talk/ for Shop Talk --
Reuters' retail and consumer blog.))
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