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Friday, July 19, 2024

Cyber Monday the next shopping rush

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Retailers fresh off the weekend that started with Black Friday are now turning their attention to Cyber Monday, billed as the busiest shopping day online.

Retailers fresh off the weekend that started with Black Friday are now turning their attention to Cyber Monday, billed as the busiest shopping day online.

Cyber Monday has become the day when U.S. sellers unveil another raft of discounts, this time online, to lure shoppers still in the mood to buy after returning to work. Black Friday, the last Friday in November, has historically been the day when retailers are pushed into the black, or profitability.

The good news is that holiday shopping held steady through the American Thanksgiving weekend after retailers saw huge crowds of bargain shoppers for early morning deals Friday.

Canadians retailers got in on the action with their own price cuts in hopes of keeping consumers at home to do their spending.

According to preliminary figures released Saturday by ShopperTrak, a research firm that tracks more than 50,000 U.S. outlets, sales rose 0.5 per cent to $10.66 billion US Friday, compared with a year ago. That was on top of a three per cent increase last year.

Online sales Thursday and Friday rose 11 per cent to $913 million, according to data released Sunday by comScore, an internet research firm. Online business got a big boost as stores pushed online promotions the week leading into the weekend.

Some analysts say the early heavy online push could steal some thunder from Cyber Monday sales, as merchants change patterns and use social media to attract buyers.

Major merchants including J.C. Penney Co. and Sears Holdings Corp. broke new ground by making many of their Black Friday specials available on their websites at the same time.

Others tweeted their deals on Twitter and previewed discounts on Facebook pages. Sears tweeted its bargains through the weekend, spokesman Tom Aiello noted Sunday.

“Forget Black Friday for bricks and Cyber Monday for clicks ? this year it’s all about making it easy for customers to satisfy their shopping fix ? wherever and whenever,” said John Long, a retail strategist at Kurt Salmon Associates.

Long, however, noted that “we’re still seeing cautious spending.”

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

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