Retailers Yearn for Big 'Cyber Monday'

This is traditionally one of the biggest shopping days online, as people return to work from the Thanksgiving holiday and log on for bargains.

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ALISON STEWART, host:

Yeah, you are listening to THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News.

We bring you news, information and today, employee improvement training. How come that's on the day I come back?

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STEWART: I'm a little concerned.

I'm Alison Stewart.

MIKE PESCA, host:

And I'm Mike Pesca, in for Luke Burbank.

Take a hint, Al.

STEWART: I know.

PESCA: It's Monday, November 26th.

STEWART: No scars, no bruises from my first airport travel on a holiday, Mike.

PESCA: On the biggest travel holiday.

STEWART: The biggest holiday - yup. Got through.

PESCA: Was it all so much hype or did you just know how to game the system?

STEWART: Pre-planning. My history as a TV producer and you had to plan the event…

PESCA: Yeah.

STEWART: …came in handy - printed those boarding passes, boarded that luggage, planned out - had the map of the airport, clear of…

PESCA: You have the map of the airport?

STEWART: Map of the…

PESCA: How does that help?

STEWART: …airport. That helps because you know exactly to which gate to go to and which terminal and where to give a little bypass Cinnabon.

PESCA: Next time, maybe you should tattoo it and have an airport-break type scenario going on.

STEWART: Coming up on the show today, we are going to talk politics. We may have taken some time off, but those presidential hopefuls no go. And we'll discuss why Fred Thompson dissed Fox news on Fox news.

PESCA: Also, we'll talk about Tasers. Four men in the U.S. and two in Canada have died in the last week in incidents involving police use of Taser stun guns. We'll talk to an expert about the decision to pull the Taser trigger.

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But first, here is THE BPP's Big Story.

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STEWART: So you survived Turkey Thursday and Black Friday. Now get ready for Cyber Monday. The first big surge in online holiday shopping takes place today as folks return to the high-speed net connections on their work computers.

PESCA: An increasing number of retailers are planning special promotions today, according to the National Retail Federation, the group that gave us the term Cyber Monday. The NRF's Ellen Davis reportedly coined the term two years ago after hearing from retailers that the Monday after Thanksgiving generated big online receipts.

STEWART: Now there's just one hitch. Despite the catchy branding, this is not the biggest online shopping day of the year according to several firms that track online sales.

PESCA: Last year, December 13th was actually the biggest online shopping day. Cyber Monday came in 12th - that's according to comScore, a company that tracks online spending.

STEWART: Now there is usually a bump on online sales on Cyber Monday as compared to Black Friday. And a number of big stores are jumping on the Cyber Monday bandwagon with sales or free shipping.

PESCA: Retailers looked to the start of the holiday shopping season last week as an indication of what's to come online. According to Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak retail tracking service, the state of our shopping was strong.

Mr. BILL MARTIN (Co-founder, ShopperTrak Retail Tracking Service): Shoppers showed up in tremendous numbers compared to last year. We're reporting sales of $10.3 billion or an 8.3 percent increase over the same time last year.

STEWART: And get this - all the Cyber Monday online shopping likely to take place in Cuba calls of America today will indeed cut in the productivity - $488 million worth of productivity according to the consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

PESCA: By the way, those lost hours of productivity staffs look like kind of a myth too.

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PESCA: Whenever you plan to do your online shopping, make sure you stretch those mouse-clicking fingers before you start. And tune in later this week when THE BPP brings you team coverage of Regret Tuesday, Return Policy Wednesday, Put It All on Black Thursday, Personal Bankruptcy Friday.

STEWART: That's THE BPP'S Big Story.

Now here's Rachel Martin with even more news.

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