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SAN FRANCISCO -- As quickly as the pieces have begun to crumble for many early online retailers running out of cash, those affiliated with bricks-and-mortar chains such as Kmart's BlueLight.com have begun recording success stories aided in large part by brand equity. This past holiday season showed some established retailers overtaking e-tail rivals. Wal-Mart, for one, moved up the ranks in monthly customer visits ahead of eToys, which had a rough holiday season and announced an anticipated drop in December sales.
For BlueLight, proof that its model appeared to be working came on Dec. 10 when the site reported its largest daily sales tally. On that date, the site had a 50% jump in sales dollars, a 57% increase in orders and a 56% gain in the number of items ordered compared with the previous Sunday, Dec. 3.