NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Holiday shopping online was strong right through Christmas, with consumers spending a record $30.8 billion for the season, according to a research firm report issued Wednesday.
Online sales for the 56 days ended Dec. 27 rose 13% from the same period in 2009, according to Reston, Va,-based comScore. There was a 17% year-over-year surge in the week that ended Dec. 26 -- the day after Christmas.
"For at least this holiday season, the American consumer has been able to shrug off the continuing economic challenges of high unemployment rates and depressed housing prices and spend at a rate that has been slightly stronger than we had expected," said Gian Fulgoni, comScore's chairman, in a statement.
Computer hardware led the way in online sales, with a 23% increase from last year, aided by Apple' (AAPL, Fortune 500)s iPad and e-readers from various sellers, according to comScore. Book and magazine sales rose 22%, consumer electronics sales gained 21% and software sales excluding video games were 20% higher online.
A court-appointed administrator announced the distribution Friday of $76 million to roughly 27,500 U.S. customers of now-defunct Full Tilt Poker. More
Maker's Row matches American manufacturers with U.S. companies who want a "Made in the USA" label. More
As free checking disappears from the nation's biggest banks, the accounts remain alive and well at credit unions. More