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The real retail success story for the 2009 holiday shopping season is not the marginal Black Friday gains reported by some traditional retailers amid deep discounting, but the strides made by online retailers and the many new mobile and digital tools shoppers are using to facilitate their holiday transactions. Cyber Monday is a term coined in 2005 by the National Retail Federation in an attempt to establish an online equivalent to the Black Friday shopping event. The idea at that time was that many shoppers, following a weekend of brick-and-mortar shopping, would return to their offices and use their employers' high-speed internet connections to fill in their holiday... Continue »
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With reports on Black Friday 2009 in, U.S. retailers can breathe a collective sigh of relief that more Americans went shopping last weekend than ever before. We shopped in numbers, and we shopped enthusiastically. 195 million of us hit the malls, downtown and suburban shopping centers, and Walmart and other large-format stores. Sales were generally up, not only in value outlets like Walmart and Target but also in high-end retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue. According to ShopperTrak, retail sales were up 0.5 percent over 2008 on Friday alone. Good news. Right? Or is the real story not about marginal sales increases based on deep discounts, but the avoiding... Continue »