This week's In the News examines increases in consumer spending and vendor presence on the Internet this holiday season. The ten resources discussed provide retail industry news for November through December 1998, background information on electronic commerce, and examples of the cybershopping experience. Even in the face of political and stock market volatility, analysts expect strong retail sales through January 1999, with an estimated $2.5 billion negotiated by Internet. Issues of security, computer equipment cost, and consumer preferences still keep many from shopping online. Nonetheless, this year retailers have made more of an effort than ever to lure buyers with innovative search screens, images, email wish lists, and chat rooms, creating an Internet presence quite different from the traditional department store floor or printed holiday catalog.
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