It's not all doom and gloom out there - November saw many budget etailers in the US attract more visitors and more money in the face of an economic downturn.
Internet research company comScore revealed today that retailing topped most-improved Internet categories in November, with Best Buy, Sears and Toys R Us all attracting over 50 per cent more visitors than the month before.
Amazon, Wal-Mart and Target all also posted large increases in traffic.
A 24 per cent increase in shoppers buying toys indicating that American kids will be enjoying Christmas this year, although the biggest gain was - surprisingly - in luxury goods (including jewellery), which rose 25 per cent from October.
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In terms of sheer popularity in the USA, Google's family of sites held the top spot with 147 million unique visitors, although Yahoo! managed a creditable 143 million users despite its on-going financial woes.
Another interesting stat was in advertising, where Google's ad network is actually in third place of internet reach - being seen by 84 per cent of American web surfers, compared to Yahoo!'s 86 per cent and a massive 91 per cent by Platform A, the advertising network of AOL.
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Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.