In a period of general decline for e-tailers, sales took a big hit immediately following the Sept. 11 attacks. But business appears to have recovered somewhat, according to BizRate.com, a research firm that tracks 2,000 websites.
During the seven-day period ending Oct. 15, online sales rose 32 percent from the seven-day period ending Sept. 10. The BizRate data omits the travel industry - hit harder than other online sectors. "Families are staying home, and the online retailers are benefiting," says Chuck Davis, CEO of BizRate. The company projects a 31 percent gain in holiday online sales over a year ago. Other analysts are more cautious.