E-Commerce Lives (Really), The Ever-Unsafe City, Etc.

If the boom in e-commerce was partly illusory, the same is true of the Internet bust. A study by GartnerG2 forecasts worldwide online sales of $25.3 billion for this year’s holiday season, up 39 percent from last year. North America is expected to account for 47 percent of the global total, while Europe will chip in 34 percent.

The good news for New York: Just 14 percent of Americans feel the city has become an unsafe place to live in and visit since Sept. 11. The bad news, from the same Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll: Twice as many feel the city has “always been unsafe.” That leaves 50 percent who said it’s now a safe place, plus 8 percent who were unsure. While 10 percent said they’re more likely to visit New York than they were before the attack, 25 percent conceded that they’re less likely to do so.

It’ll take more than terrorism to keep teenagers from hanging out at malls. In a survey conducted for Seventeen, 83 percent of teens said they fear more terrorist attacks on the U.S. Nonetheless, only 6 percent said they’re “more afraid to be in public places with large crowds.”

Honors for Best Allusion to Polygamy in a Beer Billboard go this week to Wasatch Beers of Park City, Utah. If you come across a bottle of the brewer’s Polygamy Porter, check the label to see if it’s got a “Marry responsibly” disclaimer. Ajax Communications & Design of Aspen, Colo., created the billboard.

What would motivate a person to travel these days? In an online poll by Travel & Leisure, 81 percent of respondents said a “special offer” would do the trick. Sixty-six percent said improvements in safety would move them, while 59 percent said they’d travel to visit family or friends. Forty-six percent would do so to attend a special occasion, such as a wedding or graduation.