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Retailers, consumers and prices

Chicago Tribune treats Cyber Monday shoppers – in stores

November 30, 2009

The Chicago Tribune is giving the gift of a free issue to Cyber Monday shoppers.  Online, right?  Wrong.  This free newspaper (a 75 cent value) only applies to shoppers who actually venture out to stores today.

chicago-tribune-truckThe bankrupt newspaper appears to understand the discrepancy.  In a statement, the Tribune defines Cyber Monday as the online version of Black Friday, which is the day when millions of shoppers hit stores. 

Today, many of those shoppers are back in the office — and who knows, maybe they’re using their fast Internet connections to shop online.  At least, that’s why Cyber Monday grew in popularity a few years ago, when many people still had dial-up or even no Internet connections at home.

“Chicago Tribune is here this season to help you make the holidays memorable on a budget.  We hope this free copy highlighting the best deals will help so you can spend more time with friends and family and less wondering where to find bargains,” senior vice president of advertising Bob Fleck said in a statement.

It’s a bit of a strecth to say that the issue really highlights Cyber Monday.  Readers must flip to page seven for offers the paper suggests readers take advantage of (during their lunch break).  What can they choose from?  If someone is spending the day online, why not do it from the comfort of a new $139.97 Sweetheart Rocker chair from Classic Oak Designs?  If their eyes hurt from squinting to look at a small computer screen, they could upgrade to a 21.5 inch model from Staples, and save $60 or $70 — $60 according to, $70 according to the paper.

The newspaper also has an online page dedicated to holiday sales and deals.

We’re not sure, but perhaps the Trib is making the paper free today to cheer up readers who had to shell out $1.99 for Thursday’s Thanksgiving issue filled with ads aimed at Black Friday shoppers.  It was the second year in a row that the paper raised the Thanksgiving price at newsstands to $1.99.  The normal daily price is 75 cents.

(Reuters photo)

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