Cyber Monday bigger than ever

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Some people look forward to Black Friday sales, yet more Americans are skipping the crowds and clicking their way to deals from their cubicles on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

“I’d rather pay more than be hysterical,” one shopper said.

Sales on Cyber Monday have steadily grown since 2005, when that day’s spike in online shopping was first observed. Online shoppers also are expected to spend more than in-store shoppers: $858.49 versus $688.87, according to the National Retail Federation.

“Retailers know they are catering to two very different markets,” said Kathy Grannis, a federation spokeswoman.

Retailers are offering incentives to crowd-shy shoppers, with nine out of 10 companies featuring Cyber Monday discounts this year on cybermonday.com, a website created by the National Retail Federation. That’s more than 15 percent more than last year.

Additionally, stores are offering free shipping for the entire season, which hasn’t happened in the past. “The buzz around free shipping is huge this year, which we haven’t seen in the past,” Grannis said.

Regardless of incentives, many people prefer to stay away from the stores. “I only shop online. I don’t want to deal with the crowds,” said Missy Smith, who laughed out loud when asked if she was shopping on Black Friday.

Michelle Sylvester agreed: “I come to the stores if it’s last minute, but if I have time, I definitely shop online. I prefer convenience of it all.”
 

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