July 29, 2014

Elyria
Partly sunny
71°F
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‘Cyber Monday’ next up for holiday retailers

For all you holiday shopping dissenters who traded in a Black Friday shopping spree to procrastinate at home, don`t fret – “Cyber Monday” is just around the corner.

Cyber Monday – a phrase coined by the National Retail Federation in 2005 – had its beginnings in 2002 when retailers started noticing a spike in online sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

“We thought about calling it ‘Black Monday,` but that`s also the term for the big stock market crash, so we didn`t want to go there,” said Ellen Davis, senior director of strategic communications for the NRF. “(Cyber Monday) gives you a pretty good idea of what it is.”

According to a survey conducted for Shop.org, a Web site run by the NRF, the Internet will influence more than 30.2 percent of holiday sales this year, up from 28.9 percent the year before.

The survey also projected that more than half of all U.S. workers with Internet access will take advantage of their workday to get some shopping done.

Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org, said online retailers have begun to offer many of the sales and benefits on Monday that brick-and-mortar retailers offered on Friday.

Whether promotions come in the form of specific deals, one-day sales or free shipping, 72 percent of online retailers are planning a special promotion for Cyber Monday, up from 43 percent in 2005, according to the NRF.

“As more people rely on the Internet for holiday shopping, retailers have stepped up their game to compete,” he said. “This year, promotions on Cyber Monday are extremely competitive as online retailers use an assortment of one-day specials to send shoppers online.”

For local shoppers like Joy Balog, 67, of Lorain, turning to the Internet is something she only does when all other shopping resources are exhausted.

“I only go shopping on the Internet when I can`t find something in the store,” she said, while standing in line at Best Buy in Elyria on Friday. “I just like getting out. It puts me in the holiday spirit.”

Then there are shoppers like 20-year-old Frank Phillips, of North Ridgeville, who plans on doing most of his holiday shopping online, but made his way to Midway Mall on Friday in support of his family.

“I think my aunt just needed someone to carry her bags,” he said. “Being out in this mess drives me crazy.”

And anyone who braved the crowds on Friday will likely agree – shopping from the comforts of home while still in your slippers doesn`t sound too bad.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Contact Stephen Szucs at 336-4016 or sszucs@chroniclet.com.