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The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 10, 2007 • Issue 07:12:01

Black, cyber and green, shoppers appear keen

On average, American consumers spent $10.3 billion on Black Friday 2007 and $6.1 billion the following Saturday, according to ShopperTrak RCT Corp. estimates. The two day totals are up 7.2% from 2006. Black Friday is traditionally thought of as the start of the holiday shopping season.

Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving, which now marks the start of the online holiday shopping season) brought in $733 million, according to market research firm comScore Inc.

Consumers spent approximately 21% more this year than last. After beating the pavement in the wee morning hours on Friday and dealing with massive crowds on Saturday, why did shoppers turn to the Web on Monday?

Data from comScore shows that 60% of the money spent on Cyber Monday comes from people shopping at work. Employers provide Internet access, and employees want to order in privacy - away from the peering eyes of gift recipients.

Getting in line, online

Research firm Akamai Technologies Inc. estimated Cyber Monday's Web traffic was 3 million hits per minute, a reported 37% growth in North American Web traffic over last year.

Black Friday fared well for online shopping as well. Data from eBay Inc.'s PayPal unit showed a 33% jump over 2006 in online payments on that day.

Alas, it wasn't good tidings for all merchants. Take the Yahoo.com snafu. The popular Web portal's flurry of online shoppers caused its merchant platform's checkout system to malfunction, affecting the ability of its affiliated stores and businesses to close sales. The problem began the morning of Cyber Monday and wasn't solved until late that night.

Going green

Even with the price cuts, promotions and incentives offered on Thanksgiving weekend, many consumers avoided the shopping fray until December; sales usually reach a zenith on the second Monday of December, a day retailers refer to as Green Monday.

PayPal data confirms that holiday buying is the busiest on the second Monday in December, rather than on Cyber Monday. And according to Shopping.com's recent survey, 40% of respondents said they'll do most of their holiday shopping in the month of December.

So, Black Friday and Cyber Monday just pave the way for bigger sales later in the season, a release from eBay, PayPal and Shopping.com stated. In any event, whether black, cyber and green days are myth or reality, the holiday season 2007 kicked off with a bang despite numerous predictions to the contrary. end of article

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