Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Online shopping saving season?

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Check out that cyber spending.

cybermondayCyber Monday ended barely a few hours ago and already the first reports are trickling in: online shopping looks like it may save the holiday season for retailers after Black Friday in bricks and mortars stores disappointed.  Online shopping looks to be headed for record levels.

According to a report released on Tuesday morning by Coremetrics, overall CyberMonday sales were up 13.7 percent over 2008 and the average order size soared 38.2 percent to $180.03. (Rival comScore is set to release its Cyber Monday results on Wednesday)

Online shopping has been growing for years, and may be getting a boost from shoppers eschewing Black Friday madness.  For instance, Stephen Metz, a 29-year old bartender we caught up with at a Brooklyn mall on Friday at 6:30 a.m., said he would wait for Cyber Monday to do the bulk of his shopping.

“What’s quicker than getting up and firing up your computer?” he asked. (He was at the mall to check out the crowds after his shift ended but picked up lingerie from Victoria’s Secret for his girlfriend)

Chicago Tribune treats Cyber Monday shoppers – in stores

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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. 

Check Out Line: Christmas shopping — that was easy!

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Check out the holiday promotions from Staples.staples-button

Staples may not be the first place people think of to do their Christmas shopping, but the office supplies retailer is trying to drive traffic to its stores and website with promotions ranging from free shipping and value-priced gifts to laptop giveaways.

Starting on Nov. 30, the first Monday of the official holiday shopping season — dubbed “Cyber Monday” since many people use the first day back at work to shop online — Staples will give away a $1,000 technology bundle that includes an HP Laptop computer, every day.

Check Out Line: Retailers hope to lure with Cyber Monday deals

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Check Out the online deals planned for next Monday.

Most online shops are touting special promotions for Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving when, admit it, you use your high-speed Internet connection at work to check out sales.  This year’s promotions — including a lot of free shipping — are crucial as retailers try to lure in shoppers who have been pulling back on spending ahead of the traditional holiday selling season.
 
SpendingPulse said Sunday that U.S. sales of everything from apparel to appliances plunged in the first two weeks of November, as consumers are cutting back on everything but necessities in this tough economy.  
 
Nearly 84 percent of online retailers plan to have a Cyber Monday promotion, up from 72 percent who planned Cyber Monday deals last year, according to a survey by online shopping site Shopzilla for Shop.org, the Internet division of the National Retail Federation.

In early November, Internet sales did not perform as poorly as the overall lot, according to SpendingPulse, the retail data service of MasterCard Advisors, an arm of MasterCard Worldwide.  Online sales showed the most modest decline of the period, at 7.5 percent. 

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