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Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017
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Cyber Monday brings deals to your desk

TAMPA - If you didn't get a chance to experience the midnight madness of doorbuster sales and slashed prices on Black Friday, more holidays deals are just a mouse click away. "Cyber Monday" is happening wherever you, your Internet connection and your credit card may be. In 2005, the National Retail Federation trade group christened the Monday after Thanksgiving as "Cyber Monday," the unofficial kickoff to the online shopping season. The idea was to keep people shopping after they went back to work, following the busy holiday shopping weekend.
Last year, Cyber Monday became the biggest online shopping day ever, as Americans spent more than $1 billion. E-commerce sales from Black Friday indicate this year could be even bigger: Online spending jumped 26 percent compared to 2010, going from $648 million to $816 million, research firm comScore reported. Online sales also spiked on Thanksgiving, showing an 18-percent increase compared to last year, with $479 million in sales. Fifty million Americans visited online retail sites on Black Friday, up 35 percent from a year ago, the research firm found. Each of the top five retail sites reported double-digit gains in visitors, in percentage terms, led by top retail site Amazon. Walmart ranked second, followed by Best Buy, Target and Apple. On Cyber Monday, 122.9 million Americans plan to shop, up from 106.9 million in 2010, according to a survey conducted for the National Retail Federation by BIGresearch. Of those, 17.8 million people, or 14.5 percent, are expected to shop on a mobile device this year – three times as many as in 2009. Nearly 80 percent of online retailers are expected to offer Cyber Monday promotions, with sales ranging from one-day deals on specific items to longer-term promotions, such as 10 percent off or free shipping during the week following Thanksgiving, according to the survey. Websites such as www.cybermonday.com and http://www.dealnews.com/cybermonday.html offer a smorgasbord of links to retailers offering details. You can even find coupons and discount codes on websites such as cheapdeals101.com and http://www.couponsherpa.com/holiday/cyber-monday. Amazon.com began its Cyber Monday Deals Week Sunday, with specials on everything from electronics to power tools to clothes. More than half of U.S. workers plan to spend time at work shopping on Cyber Monday, according to a CareerBuilder survey of 4,000 people and 2,700 businesses. Of those folks, 34 percent plan to spend an hour or more shopping (up from 27 percent in 2010), and 16 percent plan to spend two or more hours (up from 13 percent in 2010). But buyers beware: 7 percent of human resource managers said they have fired employees for doing their holiday shopping at work, according to the survey.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report. dvelazquez@tbo.com (813) 259-8074

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