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Cyber Monday attracts an estimated 107 million shoppers

That's a 10% increase from last year, the National Retail Federation says. About 70 million shopped online at work.

November 30, 2010|By Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times

An estimated 107 million shoppers went online on Cyber Monday, capping a five-day spending spree that raised retailers' hopes that consumers would deliver the best holiday season in four years, a retail group said.

Cyber Monday is a day of online sales that follows Black Friday weekend, which runs from Thanksgiving through Sunday. The Monday estimate of shoppers from the National Retail Federation was a 10% increase from last year. On Tuesday, experts are expected to provide estimates of how much money was spent Monday.

Monday was a workday for most Americans, and about 70 million people — the majority of consumers — shopped online while at work, the group said.

About 88% of online retailers offered sales Monday, the federation said.

If the retail group's estimate for Cyber Monday participation is on target, the five days of shopping may foreshadow a holiday bonanza for retailers, said federation President Matthew Shay.

"While Black Friday weekend is not always an indicator of holiday season performance, retailers should be encouraged that a focus on value and discretionary gifts has shoppers in the spirit to spend," he said. "As retailers look ahead to the first few weeks of December, it will be important for them to keep momentum going with savings and incentives."

About 212 million consumers hit brick-and-mortar stores and retail websites over the Black Friday weekend, the federation reported. That's up from about 195 million the same weekend last year, the trade group said.

On average, each U.S. shopper spent $365.34 over Black Friday weekend, an increase of 6.4% from $343.31 last year.

Even before Cyber Monday, 33.6% of Black Friday weekend shoppers had purchased goods online, up about 28.5% from last year, it said.

Although the weekend was encouraging, to understand what's really happening this holiday season, retailers will need to look at November as a whole, said Laura Gurski, a partner in the retail practice at A.T. Kearney, a management consulting firm.

"The other thing that is important to watch is the shift to online," Gurski said. "Not only are consumers going out there for convenience to make their purchases in a greater number, but they're also buying more items at a time. In years past, perhaps they'd buy five items in a transaction, now they're buying seven."

nathan.olivarezgiles@latimes.com

Times staff writer Andrea Chang contributed to this report.

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