UPDATE 1-U.S. online holiday sales growth seen up again-comScore

* New view of 11 percent growth is second upward revision

* Discounts drive online shopping, $9.01 bln spent so far

By Alexandria Sage

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 23 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. online spending this
holiday is now expected to rise by 11 percent over last year,
comScore said on Tuesday, marking the second time the analytics
firm has raised its closely watched view.

The increased bullishness over e-commerce sales comes as
retailers both on and offline ready for the key U.S. Thanksgiving
weekend when holiday shoppers head to stores or to their computers
in search of deals.

The new spending outlook should bring total holiday e-commerce
spending to $32.4 billion, comScore said.

Cyber Monday, the day when consumers head back to work after
the Thanksgiving weekend, is considered the kick-off to the online
shopping season. But brick-and-mortar retailers from Wal-Mart
Stores Inc (WMT.N: ) to Staples Inc (SPLS.O: ) are focused on early
deals at their online units, while Internet giant Amazon.com
(AMZN.O: ) has already gained market share this season, analysts
say.

One week ago, comScore told Reuters in an exclusive interview
that it was raising its forecast from an earlier projected gain of
7 percent to a new projection of 9 percent. [ID:nN16148115] It
noted then that the outlook might be raised further.

The new outlook announced Tuesday is based on the first 21
days of the November and December season, in which $9.01 billion
has already been spent, marking a 13 percent increase over the
year-ago period, comScore said.

ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said the holiday e-commerce
season had “gotten off to an extremely positive start.”

“Despite continued high unemployment rates and other economic
concerns, consumers seem to be more willing to open up their
wallets this holiday season than last,” Fulgoni said in a
statement.

He attributed the surge of purchases to deep discounts that
started earlier than in 2009, when U.S. e-commerce sales rose 4
percent during the two-month holiday period.

Online sales make up approximately 7 percent of the overall
retail pie, according to comScore, and brick-and-mortar retailers
are expecting a far less rosy sales outlook this year.

The National Retail Federation expects 2010 holiday retail
sales — which exclude online as well as food, vehicle and
gasoline sales — to rise a mere 2.3 percent this year to $447.1
billion.
(Reporting by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

UPDATE 1-U.S. online holiday sales growth seen up again-comScore