- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Cyber Monday, Gray Thursday reflect sales shift
Black Friday shows drop as shopping patterns change
Question of the Day
Retailers may have taken a hit on Black Friday, but they are banking on Cyber Monday and Gray Thursday to deliver a much-needed boost in holiday shopping season sales.
Sales on “Cyber Monday,” the first day for many people to be back at work after Thanksgiving weekend, jumped about 20 percent Monday, compared to a year ago, as consumers seemed to be shifting their focus to online shopping. But consumer willingness to spend online could be weakened by a Supreme Court action Monday that gives states more power to collect online sales tax.
That comes on the heels of poor sales numbers on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the traditional first day of Christmas shopping. The National Retail Federation reported Sunday that overall sales were down versus the same day in 2012, a cause for concern among some retailers who fear there will be weaker demand this holiday season.
But retailers aren’t panicking.
“Retailers still have a few tricks up their sleeves and they’ll figure out great ways to attract new customer dollars,” said Kathy Grannis, spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation. “Retailers can make up a lot of ground in the coming days.”
The retail group reported that the average shopper spent $407 from Thursday through Sunday, which was down slightly from the $423 average for last year’s four-day “weekend.” Total spending over the weekend was $57 billion.
Despite the poor turnout on Black Friday, the retail group still expects overall holiday sales to increase 3.9 percent this year to $602 billion.
Many retailers will offer free gift cards to entice consumers to buy certain products, Ms. Grannis suggested. She pointed to Target’s offer of a free $100 gift card to customers who purchased an iPad Air last weekend, as an example. She also said that free shipping is popular among consumers.
Part of the reason for the low turnout on Black Friday is that consumers started shopping earlier this year, Ms. Grannis added. Many already had their shopping done by Nov. 15, according to another NRF survey.
Some market analysts also suggested that the increasing number of stores that open on Thanksgiving, and offer discounts and other incentives to shop on that day, has moved some of Black Friday’s specialness to what has become known as Gray Thursday — Thanksgiving Day itself.
“We know that Gray Thursday was somewhat successful,” said Chris Christopher, U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight. “So those shoppers that went out on Gray Thursday weren’t out in full force on Black Friday.”
Meanwhile, holiday shoppers are shifting their focus online. The retail federation reported that 59 million people, or about four in 10 consumers, shopped online during the Black Friday weekend. The average shopper spent $177 online, which covered about 44 percent of their overall holiday shopping budget.
Furthermore, IHS Global Insight found that online shopping jumped by 13 percent this year over 2012.
Meanwhile on Cyber Monday, the Supreme Court declined to consider the appeal of an online sales-tax case being brought by Amazon and Overstock against New York state.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tim Devaney is a national reporter who covers business and international trade for The Washington Times. Previously, he worked for the Detroit News, Grand Rapids Press, Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News. Tim can be reached at email@example.com.
- Dysfunction, disarray at Homeland Security management cited in IG's report
- GM's Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- Treasury sells last shares in 'Government Motors'
- U.S. businesses reach out quickly to partners in Iran
- General Motors ending Chevrolet sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- House GOP resurrects border bill, predicts successful Friday vote
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- ON THE RUN: Competition for Redskins backup running back is heating up
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors