With consumers and businesses gearing up for the holiday shopping season, the Direct Marketing Association (The DMA)has released a report showing that the Internet and catalogs are generating an increasing percentage of retail sales. The study was released at The DMA net.marketing fall conference and exhibition in Boston.The report revealed that Internet-generated sales are expected to hit$24.2 billion in 2000, almost double 1999 sales of $13.8 billion. Catalog sales are expected to reach $110.6 billion this year, compared to $96.8 billion in 1999. "The days of single-channel retailing are over. With more than 90 per cent of catalogs doing business online, pure-play Web companies launching catalogs and catalogs opening retail stores - added to the continuing strong growth of Internet and catalog commerce - it is clear that both consumers and businesses are exercising more control over when and where they make transactions," said H. Robert Wientzen, president and CEO, The DMA.The DMA also announced that it will begin reporting catalog and Internet sales figures and projections on a quarterly basis. Its Multi-Channel Retail Index (MCRI) is thought to be the only report that analyzes and forecasts the new multi-channel retail economy on a quarterly basis."We have measured direct marketing economic activity in sales, employment and ad spending on an annual basis since 1995," said Wientzen. "However, because of the rapid growth of the Web and its positive impact on direct marketing, we created the quarterly MCRI to provide more current data to industry to assist in strategic planning."Sales generated from print catalogs continue to increase at almost twice the rate of retail sales. Catalog sales grew 11.5 per cent annually from 1995 to 2000, while annual retail sales grew 6.7 per cent during the same period.