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The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that while brick-and-mortar retailers are concerned about flat or declining sales during the end-of-year holiday season, online retailers are more part because they are working overtime to provide better products ad services to shoppers.

“At a time when traditional retailers are being ultra conservative, many Web sites have been spending to make shipping times faster, consumer-generated reviews better, and to offer new features such as online layaways,” the Journal writes. “ Inc. is rolling out more ‘frustration-free’ packages that replace hard-to-open plastic clamshells; eBat Inc. is highlighting merchants with the best ratings; and Sears Holding Corp. is launching online layaway.

“In contrast, many traditional retailers have cut way back on inventory levels and holiday staffing, hoping to avoid the massive profit-eroding discounts of last holiday season ... A recent holiday hiring survey found almost half of retailers said they expected to reduce the number of workers by 5% to 15% compared to a year ago.”
KC's View:
Talk about a self-fulfilling prophesy. Is it any wonder that, according to the story, “U.S. shoppers on average rate e-commerce shopping more highly than at traditional retailers, according to the University of Michigan American Consumer Satisfaction Index.”