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The Lowdown

Nov. 11, 2008 Post

Here's the The Lowdown from DNJournal.com! Updated daily to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry!

Compiled by Ron Jackson
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With the general economy in complete disarray nearly all of the "experts" are predicting a dismal Christmas season for retailers - with one exception, and I bet most of you will guess 

what that is before I even say it - that's right, merchants who sell online are expected to enjoy double digit growth over last year, despite the current financial meltdown. Time Magazine has all of the details in an article released today titled Will Online Sales Brighten a Bleak Holiday Season? Author Kristina Dell wrote, "Holiday forecasts predict zero to 2.2% overall sales gains for November and December, according to respective estimates by Bain & Co. and the National Retail Federation (NRF), the world's largest retail trade association. By comparison, online retail sales are expected to grow 12% to $44 billion according to Forrester Research.

Dell went on to delineate the reasons why online merchants continue to gain ground despite the current recession: "Rising financial anxiety and tight credit availability are making holiday shopping this year an exercise in self restraint, and the web offers a quick, clean shot at purchasing 24 hours a day. Moreover, with websites like FatWallet and SlickDeals featuring bargain basement prices, hunting around for the best value is a convenient mouse click away. That's an easier proposition for many than slogging to the mall and fighting traffic, crowds and parking problems."

I will be the first to give Dell a big Amen! on that one.  Even though I knew better, on Black Friday last year (the day after Thanksgiving Day that some say is the busiest shopping day of the year) I succumbed to all of the newspaper ads touting phenomenal bargains at the local 

The joy of holiday shopping at a local mall

malls. In search of a new flat screen TV I braved the crowds but after hitting multiple brick and mortar outlets within the first hour they opened, I went home empty handed as none of the stores actually had the TVs they advertised in stock. I (and millions of others) won't make that mistake again. 

In writing about my experience a year ago, I summed it up by noting, "After five stops and a couple of hours of wasted time I went home and did what I should have done in the first place - ordered a TV online. It will be delivered to my door - no fuss, no muss - and for a cost that is just a tad more than

the come on prices the local stores tout, "bargains" that virtually no one actually receives." The previosuly unwritten follow up to that is the TV was indeed delivered the next business day (free delivery too!) and I have been enjoying it ever since.

When I think of holiday shopping at brick and mortar stores now, the same old adage keeps coming to mind - "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." To quote The Who's Pete Townshend, I "won't get fooled again."

While we are on the topic of the continuing shift of brick and mortar businesses to the web I have to mention still another example of that in the newspaper business. The local Tampa Tribune announced the layoff of 18 more newsroom staffers today, including my favorite columnist, Daniel Ruth. The rival St. Petersburg Times quoted the Tribune's executive editor, Janet Coats, as saying "many newspapers are finding their print product becoming a secondary outlet to their website." Though many of us who have worked in 

Internet publishing for years  have seen this coming, it is still stunning to me to see the editor of a major paper essentially admit that the war is over and the web won.
Nov. 11, 2008)

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