When you're a little kid, it seems that Christmas will never come: time hangs heavy as you wait, and wait, for your presents. But for retailers, time flies between Thanksgiving and the end of December. They know they only have a limited time to compete for customers' attention and their carefully budgeted dollars.
At least the Black Friday/Cyber Monday kickoff period has started strong: holiday weekend sales for both stores and e-commerce climbed an impressive 16.4% over 2010 to $52.4 billion, according to National Retail Federation data. E-commerce showed healthy gains, with Cyber Monday online sales projected to hit $1.2 billion, breaking last year's one-day record of $1.02 billion, according to comScore.
Retailers used a variety of techniques to attract shoppers and secure their share of wallet. Some pushed Black Friday back into Turkey Thursday, opening stores as early as 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. Cyber Monday is also threatening to stretch into Cyber Week: Toys "R" Us began its online promotions on Sunday and will continue them through the week, as will Target, according to published reports.
For more detailed reporting and analysis from RIS:
· Black Friday Weekend Sales Climb 16.4% to $52.4B: Total sales, online sales and store traffic all showed strong gains during the holiday weekend.
· Walmart, Old Navy Drive Traffic on Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Walmart was the biggest, but not the only, retailer to begin its Black Friday sales on Thursday night and to extend Cyber Monday online specials throughout the following week.
· Mobile Report: Tablets' M-Commerce Roles on the Rise: Smartphones still outnumber tablets, but consumers are more likely to use the latter devices to research, compare and purchase products.
· Cyber Monday Sales Jump 18% Over 2010's Record-High $1B: Projected sales of $1.2 billion for the day would represent the second year in a row that Cyber Monday has broken all previous online sales records.