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TMCNet:  Holiday sales stay strong through Cyber Monday

[November 27, 2012]

Holiday sales stay strong through Cyber Monday

Nov 27, 2012 (The Citizens' Voice - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Retailers say Black Friday weekend was one of the best ever and online sales remained strong on Cyber Monday as more consumers turned to computers and mobile devices to look for deals.


Kurt Slusser, manager of JCPenney at the Wyoming Valley Mall in Wilkes-Barre Township, said the store had plenty of deals for Cyber Monday on everything from toys to clothing for men, women and children for online shoppers.

The deals followed a busy weekend at JCPenney. Crowds of people filed into the store on Black Friday when the store opened at 6 a.m. to take advantage of its one sale of the year that lasted all day, Slusser said.

"We did very well at the store on Friday. We opened at 6 a.m. and everyone else opened earlier, but we were busy all day long. It never stopped," Slusser said. "It was a good year." Kmart also had a good weekend of sales that continued with Cyber Monday deals. The online bargains Monday came after Kmart offered sales that started on Thanksgiving.

More shoppers came out than previous years and electronics were big sellers, said Bill Rhodes, assistant manager of Kmart in Edwardville. On Monday, Rhodes said Kmart was offering a number of deals online and sales were strong.

A record number of shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, according to the National Retail Federation.

The federation reported more than 35 million Americans visited retailers' stores and websites Thursday -- up from 29 million last year -- scoring deals on everything from electronic items to sweaters and toys.

According a survey conducted by BIGinsight over the weekend, more people than ever before also shopped online and in stores on Black Friday, as 89 million shoppers braved the crowds, up from 86 million last year. The average holiday shopper spent $423 this holiday weekend, up from $398 last year. Total spending reached an estimated $59.1 billion.

Despite record levels of online spending over Black Friday weekend, the federation reported that more than 129 million shoppers planned to go to retailers' websites on Cyber Monday.

According to a survey conducted for Shop.org by BIGinsight, that number was up from nearly 123 million who shopped last year and nearly 107 million who shopped on Cyber Monday in 2010. To meet consumers' demands, 85 percent of retailers said they would hold a special promotion for Cyber Monday.

"Whether from the couch or the cubicle, online shoppers will make this Cyber Monday bigger than ever," said Vicki Cantrell, executive director for Shop.org.

Cantrell said retailers have improved their websites and social media outreach to be "better than ever." According to the National Retail Federation, the number of shoppers planning to use their smart phones or other mobile device this Cyber Monday increased to 20.4 million this year, a 14.4 percent increase from 17.8 million in 2011.

In just three years, the number of Americans saying they would use their mobile devices to shop on Cyber Monday has skyrocketed from just 3.6 million (3.8 percent) in 2009 to 20.4 million (15.8 percent) in 2012.

"The momentum from a solid Black Friday weekend certainly looks like it will carry on into Cyber Monday," BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow said.

dallabaugh@citizensvoice.com, 570-821-2115 ___ (c)2012 The Citizens' Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) Visit The Citizens' Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) at citizensvoice.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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