Black Friday and Small Business Saturday sales up over last year
Looks like someone’s got a case of the (Cyber) Mondays.
The holiday shopping season, which can account for up to 40 percent of a retailer’s annual revenue, is off to an auspicious start following the Thanksgiving creep of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. All have been prelude to Cyber Monday, which is projected to see sales of $1.5 billion, a 20 percent increase over last year, according to comScore..
Created in 2005, Cyber Monday is forecast to be the biggest online shopping day of the year for the third consecutive year.
Cyber Monday has hard acts to follow. The holiday shopping season got off to a head start as retailers opened their doors as early as Thanksgiving evening in advance of Black Friday, which has assumed the mantle as the year’s biggest shopping day. The National Retail Federation reported that more than 35 million Americans visited stores and logged on to retailer websites on Thursday, up from 29 million in 2011.
Black Friday crowds reached 89 million, up from 86 million last year, the NRF said Monday.
Small Business Saturday, a marketing initiative created in 2010 by American Express to encourage patronage at local businesses is considered by more than one-third (36 percent) of independent retailers to be the season’s most important shopping day, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
Last year, small business merchants experienced a reported 23 percent increase in card-member transactions as an estimated 103 million Americans visited their local shops on Small Business Saturday, American Express said.
Cyber Monday is reportedly off to a stellar start. Techcrunch reports that as of noon, online shopping was up 24.1 percent compared with the same period a year ago, according to figures by IBM Benchmark. Sales conducted from mobile devices, which include computer tablets, have thus far risen 12 percent over the same period last year.
It remains to be seen how the Black Friday creep into Thanksgiving will impact overall Cyber Monday spending. This year, retailers leaked special offers and opened their doors earlier. As a result, consumers reportedly spent more than $1 billion online on Black Friday, up 26 percent from last year, and $633 million on Thanksgiving, a 32 percent increase.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.