Will Cyber Monday Become More Important Than Black Friday?

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Thanksgiving and Black Friday now belong to history, and all eyes have turned to Cyber Monday. Early data show strong retail sales from both brick-and-mortar and online retailers despite concerns that the looming fiscal cliff would cause consumers to tighten their belts. The unprecedented frenzy of promotion seems to have successfully spurred sales growth, providing some hope for strong fourth-quarter results from retailers.

Online holiday retail sales have grown 16 percent to $13.7 billion so far this November compared to last year, the data from comScore points out. Sales grew 32 percent year over year for Thanksgiving day to $633 million while Black Friday sales grew 26 percent and broke $1 billion for the first time.

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This massive growth in online sales builds off two trends that researchers are expecting for this holiday season. One is that the National Retail Federation expects holiday sales to grow 4.1 percent to $586.1 billion this year. This compares to the 10-year average growth rate of 3.5 percent, and the 2011 growth rate of 5.6 percent. The other is that preliminary data from comScore indicate that brick-and-mortar retail sales dropped as much as 1.8 percent on Black Friday.

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