Flat sales plumped on Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday shopping should help many retailers offset Thanksgiving weekend sales that fell flat.
Retailers' push, including early store openings on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the long shopping weekend, failed to deliver higher sales. A National Retail Federation survey said shoppers spent $57.4 billion from Thanksgiving through Sunday, a 2.9 percent decrease from a year earlier and the first decline in holiday gift spending over Black Friday weekend since 2009.
But online shopping, including activity on Cyber Monday, should help retailers register somewhat higher sales over the entire holiday season. Generally, online sales account for about 10 percent of total spending.
E-commerce activity at PayPal, a global Internet payment system, is a good indication. PayPal said that by midafternoon it processed slightly more than double the volume of mobile payments made all day on Cyber Monday 2012.
Cyber Monday sales were expected to rise significantly, according to comScore Inc. The research firm projected sales would reach $2 billion, compared with $1.47 billion on Cyber Monday 2012.
The Retail Federation said more than 131 million people would shop online on Cyber Monday, which is 2 percent more than a year earlier, and nearly matching the 141 million total shoppers who hit stores during the four-day weekend.
It's the convenience of shopping on the Internet versus the frustrations of driving and parking to visit physical stores, said Jon Prince, president of wholesaler McKeesport Candy Co. and its CandyFavorites.com business unit, an online retailer of candy.
“People can't justify spending on five gallons of gasoline to visit the mall when they can stay home and just click and order online,” said Prince, who owns the local candy company.
“A ton of orders came in today,” Prince said of CandyFavorites.com's sales volume on Monday. Sales from Friday through mid-day Monday had put the company ahead of year-ago volumes for the Friday-through-Monday period, he said.
Between brick-and-mortar store sales and online sales, November-December holiday retail sales are projected to increase 3.9 percent this year to $602 billion from $579 billion the year earlier, said the Retail Federation. That compares with a 3.5 percent rise in 2012 and a 10-year average annual increase of 3.3 percent
A number of local merchants, however, reported solid store sales over the weekend.
For instance, Heinz Healey's did very well, especially compared to last year, said Chaz Schaldenbrand, owner of the Downtown men's apparel shop.
“Business was excellent. We were probably up 40 percent over last year,” he said. “This is a good barometer.”
Allen Difrischia, manager of Playthings Etc. in Clay, Butler County, said sales at his toy store were 10 percent higher on Black Friday than a year earlier, which helped push November sales 9 percent over last year.
Shopping traffic was so brisk over the weekend, Difrischia said, the store was out of many items on Monday and he was scrambling to restock.
“It's great,” he said. “It really caught me by surprise.”
The Associated Press, Bloomberg and Trib Total Media staff writer Alex Nixon contributed to this report. Thomas Olson is a Trib Total Media staff writer. He can be reached at 412-320-7854 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Facebook ready to test giant drone
- Cost-cutting at Kraft Heinz extends to refrigerator
- Home rental prices jumped again in June
- U.S. asks Supreme Court to reinstate convictions of portfolio managers who won on appeal
- Economy’s 2Q best since last year
- Muni bond funds stressed
- GNC to convert more stores to franchises as sales, profits slip
- Stocks bounce back from big losses to close relatively flat
- Kennametal expects to consolidate plants as it shrinks manufacturing in continuing streamlining; profit drops
- Post-Gazette offers voluntary buyouts in bid to avoid layoffs
- EPA ordered to ease limits on cross-border air pollution that involves Pennsylvania