In the weeks leading to Thanksgiving, many analysts had offered rosy forecasts of a lucrative Black Friday for retailers. For most of Black Friday, these forecasts appeared to have come to fruition as shoppers were coming out in force at shopping malls and retail stores across the country. Unfortunately, it turns out that consumer spending on Black Friday is only slightly up from last year (which was in the middle of a recession.) According to the Associated Press, spending rose by a disappointing 0.3% from a year ago. Apparently, the 2.2% increase in store traffic did not translate to sales. The only silver lining is the fact that online spending on Black Friday was up from last year.
Will Cyber Monday 2010 fare better or worse than Black Friday? It is no secret that more people are making their holiday purchases online than ever before. Online retailers like Amazon and EBay provide just as many deals and discounts as traditional retailers, while offering the convenience of home shopping. Traditional retailers like Wal-Mart and Target seem to have recognized the online shopping trend as well, and are working hard to expand their online presence.
The fact that more people are looking to the web for their holiday shopping also means designated days like Cyber Monday will not have the same impact as it were 3 or 4 years ago. Online retailers are likely to extend special deals and discounts beyond the one day. In another word, there will be a lot of Cyber Mondays and Fridays in this holiday season. One should expect strong online sales for Cyber Monday 2010, but it is unlikely to replace Black Friday in importance.
1) Eileen A. Connelly. Black Friday retail sales edge up only slightly. Associated Press