Yahoo: Holiday Online Shopping Up 86 Percent

Internet media company Yahoo! Inc. on Tuesday said online shopping sales jumped 86 percent this holiday season compared with last year, as more buyers chose to shop from home instead of heading to malls or department stores.

Deep discounts from up 75 percent on items from brand name retailers like Eddie Bauer, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Godiva, and SonyStyle helped fuel the increase in shopping activity at Yahoo, the No. 2 online retail destination, during the peak buying periods between Nov. 23 and Dec. 24.

Sales figures outpaced Forrester Research analysts' original holiday growth estimates of 10 percent by more than eight fold, the company said.

Yahoo users spent $10.3 billion online in the fourth quarter, the company said, citing research group ACNielsen.

``The holiday season is a critical period for Yahoo! Shopping and we are proud to announce that our Yahoo! Shopping business has maintained extremely strong growth momentum,'' Rob Solomon, vice president and general manager of Yahoo! Shopping, said in a statement. ``Our commitment to enhancing our consumer and merchant offerings is one of the driving factors behind our ability to successfully capture increasingly more market share.''

Like their off-line counterparts, online vendors offered bargains and the top five most popular product categories on Yahoo this season were video game consoles, digital cameras, laptop computers, toys and apparel, especially shoes, outerwear, and lingerie.

And, like its brick-and-mortar counterparts, Yahoo! Shopping launched, a post-Holiday sale center, offering further discounts.