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Is Cyber Monday the New Black Friday? And Will My Brother Get a New Coat?

December 3rd, 2009 | Data and Information Analysis,News,shopping,Small Business | 1 Comment »

80s coat

An interesting phen0menon occurred during the kickoff of the holiday shopping season (two phenomenons, actually, if you count the fact that I found a sweater that doesn’t make me look fat).  With most of the focus on the bricks-and-mortar retail sales, which appear to be up very modestly, online sales on both “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” were very strong.  So there is a big question hanging out there (besides the question if 40 is really the new 30 — man, I hope so) — Is Cyber Monday the new Black Friday?

In terms of raw numbers, of course Cyber Monday hasn’t yet replaced the mall.  But in terms of predictiveness, which is more predictive?  Year over Year, offline sales for Black Friday were up 1.6%, with YOY online sales on Black Friday being up approximately 11%.  Then big event, Cyber Monday, showed a 5% increase from 2008 and is the biggest day of sales since tracking of this hallowed day began five years ago. 

So what gives? Are we going to have a flat or booming holiday season?  While the numbers cited above are interesting, there is only one way to handle this type of question in the blog world…anecdotal information!  My brother was in town and, according to my wife, his winter coat was from the 1980s.  While retro is good, you actually have to buy new clothes that look old…it just doesn’t work holding onto your old stuff. 

We hit the malls and it was busy, but according to the Nordstrom and Macy’s sales staff, the Black Friday crowd was similar to a normal Saturday crowd.  There’s not a lot of inventory for winter wear, so we head to REI.  We find the coat, but Dang! it’s pricey.  Being good shoppers, we use the time to find a jacket type my brother likes and my wife barely approves (he’s now moved up to the late 1990s). 

We then go home and hit the online sites for deals.  We find the coat on a great site, BackCountry.com, get 25% off with free shipping (you should check out their blog).  So the offline retail stores acted as a very expensive closet that then benefited the online site.  So, according to my exhaustive research, I think the initial numbers are misleading, and we will have a surprisingly good holiday season.

What are you seeing out there?  Also, is it time for you to update your winter wear?

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