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Retail Roundup: Hitwise Examines Online Shoppers' Habits, PC Retailers Strategize, and More

Hitwise measures how long Internet users stay on retailers' sites -- As e-commerce continues to grow in popularity, retailers are fighting to keep shoppers on their sites longer, but only a few can boast great success. Recent measurements from Hitwise revealed that e-retailer ShoeMetro.com posted the biggest gain in its shoppers' average session length -- a 101 percent boost from 3 minutes and 6 seconds in 2007 to 6 minutes and 13 seconds for 2008. Other e-retailers who were able to increase their average session length included CSN Stores and Diapers.com. Meanwhile, Guess? Inc. and NetShops Inc. posted some of the biggest time losses. [Source: internetretailer]

PC retailers to resort to drastic strategies -- After a tough summer marked by stunted personal-computer sales, PC retailers are backed against the wall entering the holiday season. Analysts predict decreased spending on personal computers, and Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies said computer retailers are considering slashing prices as early as October. Still, since PC makers generally reap slim profit margins, huge price cuts are predicted to be replaced by smaller cuts paired with package deals that include free software or hardware. [Source: The Boston Globe]

Old Navy targets tots, moms -- Old Navy seems to be taking its recent promise to direct marketing efforts toward young moms seriously. The brand, which has struggled since it began to shift its focus to a younger, trendier crowd several years ago, promised earlier this month to return to its roots by offering basic apparel -- and now a line of children books. The chain's new campaign focuses on "Jenny," the 29-year-old mom on a budget, and the integration of a kids' line of colorful books and toys fits perfectly into Old Navy's desired image. [Source: Heard on the Runway]

London's biggest mall to open -- The massive 43-acre Westfield London, which will be largest mall in all of Britain, is set to open next week amid a downpour of dire economic predictions. The shopping center, composed of 265 shops, is the biggest venture ever undertaken by development company Westfield, which is run by Australia's wealthiest man, Frank Lowy. [Source: The Independent]

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