At the end of each year, there is always plenty of news about the Christmas shopping rush, and how and what people are buying. We just saw, that for Christmas 2009, the focus seemed to be firmly on online retail for Christmas shopping, a trend that seems to encroach more and more on the more traditional approach. The Wall Street Journal reported on December 15th 2009 that despite shop sales being flat compared to last year, online sales in the US had grown 4% in only the 6 weeks since the beginning of November. Also, online sales in the US totalled $913 million on December 15th alone, a record for a single day. So why is this happening, what does it mean, and what’s going on in Japan in online retail?