Is Cyber Monday the new Black Friday?

 

Nearly every American knows all of the calendar holidays and celebrates them religiously. There’s Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and…Black Friday (before Christmas and Hanukah, of course). Black Friday is every retail owner’s dream, and every sales clerk’s worst nightmare. I made the mistake of going to Target at 2 p.m. on Friday, and was literally whacked in the face by a middle-aged woman’s shopping bag. (I hope it was accidental.)

Black Friday at Toys “R” Us was worse, though: “line-jumping and scuffling” caused arrests early Friday morning at the store in Greensboro, North Carolina. Watch it here.

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend 682 dollars this year on holiday-related items, down from 705 dollars in 2008.

But a recent Newsweek article suggests that “Cyber Monday” will soon replace the insanity of Black Friday. Nearly 45 percent of retailers estimate an increase in 2009 online holiday shopping by at least 15 percent from last year. And these corporations are making good on their prediction: in a survey by the Web site Shop.org, nine of 10 online businesses planned to offer a promotion of sorts on Monday, from one-day sales to free shipping. So naturally, they’re not waiting around for people to visit their site. Retailers like Amazon.com are using Twitter and Facebook to point shoppers toward online benefits. Toys “R” Us even sent its Facebook fans an announcement on Wednesday proclaiming Black Friday specials.

So what do you think? Will the hustle and bustle of Black Friday stay strong as ever, or is online shopping the new face for retail? Will you reconsider fighting crowds next Black Friday in favor of your comfy sweats and laptop? I know I will.

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4 responses to “Is Cyber Monday the new Black Friday?

  1. As someone who has previously worked four Black Fridays in retail at Best Buy, I think the idea of Cyber Monday is good in essence. But it won’t work. There is so much commotion over Black Friday and it’s been this way for years and I don’t foresee it changing any time soon.

    Cyber Monday is just another gimmick in hopes of expanding out this weekend of hell–even though almost all retailers will lose more money than they make because of selling stuff below cost. It’s the ultimate irony in retail, and just another little fact that makes those of us who have worked in retail want to bang our heads even harder against the wall.

  2. Ha! I’m shopping as we speak. My family’s been doing the online shopping thing for several years now. My mother decided to try out Black Friday, and the woman says she’ll never go again. I’ve heard some horror stories, and I can’t say that I’m interested in going, either.

    It just makes more sense to do stuff online. You save on gas and impulse buys, and a lot of times you get a better selection by purchasing online.

    You can get the sizes you need by buying online, too, rather than driving all the way to the store and fighting the crowds just to find out they don’t have what you need.

  3. Cyber Monday may catch on, but Black Friday is here to stay. Seriously, for some people, it’s up there with Christmas and Halloween – the date is scrolled boldly on calendars and it’s considered sacrilegious to ignore it. Other people go for the experience; yeah, it’s crazy, but you can’t get that same adrenaline rush from surfing the net.

    I’m sure that retail workers would be overjoyed if Black Friday lost its fire, and who knows, maybe it eventually will. Cyber Monday seems like a much safer, smarter alternative for snatching up those holiday deals and maintaining your sanity, but you can’t count on everyone to jump on the bandwagon.

  4. Ann Schnoebelen

    The headlines after Cyber Monday don’t seem to be nearly as interesting as the ones after Black Friday. I mean seriously, a day of holiday shopping where no one is critically injured in a stampede, nobody is horrendously frostbitten after hours waiting in the cold, and there aren’t any reports of vicious soccer mom brawls? BOOOH-RING!

    I’m with Allison on this one. For a lot of people, it’s not just about the deals, it’s about the “experience.” Call me Scrooge, but I’d rather experience a cup of hot cider, an old rendition of “Let it Snow” on the radio and the glowing screen of my Macbook at a more reasonable hour of the day.

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