Cyber Monday Sales Soar
Area Shops Get Online Boost
Posted: November 27, 2012
VTO Saddlery shop owner Paul Arnold (left), who owns the business with his wife, Elizabeth, and employee Jaclyn Fulk package online orders in Broadway on Cyber Monday. (Photos by Nikki Fox)
VTO employee Emily Reed takes packages to the post office for shipping.
He thought he was prepared for the Christmas gift rush. Turns out, he wasn’t. But he said he learned from his mistakes.
Now, his business, VTO Saddlery, is cashing in on Black Friday and Cyber Monday — a term given to the Monday after Black Friday to mark the beginning of the online holiday shopping season.
Arnold said he had to realize that on Cyber Monday, he’s not just competing against other tack shops. He’s competing for customers against large businesses as well, including Walmart, Target and Best Buy, even if they don’t sell equestrian gear.
“They’re going to go where they can get the best bang for their buck,” said Arnold, whose shop is at 115 Miller St. “We have to have our best deals of the year to see a spike.”
The Shenandoah Valley shop is just one of many businesses nationwide trying to claim some of the billions of dollars consumers plan to spend this year online.
For the first time, online Black Friday sales topped the billion-dollar mark with $1.042 billon in online sales, according to comScore, an e-commerce measurement website.
The website reported that 57 million Americans logged on to an online retail store on Black Friday — an 18 percent increase from last year.
Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple were the most visited retail stores, according to comScore.
The website projected that Cyber Monday sales could reach $1.5 billion.
Catering To Customers
Best Buy is expected to be one of the big draws for online shoppers.
Derek Cain, general manager of the Harrisonburg store on Burgess Road, said Cyber Monday is a big day for the retailer, but he said the store is careful to offer specific sales for each day of the week.
“It’s a very important day, but we never want to bottleneck everything in one day,” Cain said. “Our goal is to find a way to get everything on sale in one way, shape or form by Christmas.”
He said tablets are a big seller this year, as well as big, high-definition televisions, because they have been dropping in price over the last few years.
Cain said the electronics retailer has been making it easier for customers to shop online by allowing them to pick up their items at the store. While some customers find it convenient to shop online, they still want the instant gratification and don’t want to wait for their items to arrive at their doorsteps days after they ordered them, he said.
“We’re trying to make it as seamless as possible,” he said, adding that the store has specific parking spaces dedicated to customers who are entering the store to pick up items purchased online. “Our goal is to get people in and out in two minutes.”
It’s Not For Everyone
While many businesses had sales targeting the Cyber Monday shopper, Troy Lucas, owner of Broadway-based Lucas Roasting Co., spent his day roasting coffee.
He said most of his online sales came the week before Thanksgiving so his consumers could have fresh-brewed coffee to serve their guests during their big holiday meals.
He anticipates another rush in December, just in time for Christmas.
“In the next few weeks, we’ll see a spike in sales,” Lucas said.
Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or firstname.lastname@example.org