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Does ‘Cyber Monday’ live up to hype?

Steve Chiotakis Nov 30, 2009
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Does ‘Cyber Monday’ live up to hype?

Steve Chiotakis Nov 30, 2009
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Steve Chiotakis: Online spending for Black Friday was up about 11 percent over last year. Analytics firm ComScore says Wal-Mart and Amazon were big winners. But today is the day a lot of e-retailers have circled on their calendars. And over the past few years, “Cyber Monday” has been getting more and more attention. Fortune Magazine’s Allan Sloan is with us now to tell us whether he thinks it lives up to all the hype. Good morning, Allan.

Allan Sloan: Morning, Steve.

Chiotakis: So here we are, what, just a few years into Cyber Monday, and is this ever, do you think, going to overtake Black Friday or Christmas Eve as the biggest shopping day of the year?

Sloan: No, I don’t think it is, because Black Friday is a sport and Christmas Eve is always the biggest day in terms of dollars, and that’s just panic-driven. So Cyber Monday or Cyber-whatever will move up, but it’s not going to rival these other things. But it’s a great invention, and the marketing people who invented it should be proud of themselves, cause we’re talking about it.

Chiotakis: And we’re talking about it, absolutely. But I mean, there are 15-year-olds out there who know nothing but the Internet. Isn’t that gonna sort of make this keep going?

Sloan: It will, but I still think there’s something visceral. Because no matter how computer-literate you are, there’s a lot to be said for going out to the mall. It’s fun, it’s an experience. I’m a man with three daughters and no sons. I learned to get up at the crack of dawn on Black Friday because they were all going out for the 5 a.m. specials. It’s become a custom and it’s been whipped up by marketing, and the marketing guys who invented the concept of Black Friday, they’ve now invented Cyber Monday. And not to be overly cynical, but I’ve actually got a day I want to put on the calendar for next year.

Chiotakis: Oh boy. What is that?

Sloan: It’ll be “Registry Wednesday.” See, doesn’t that sound great?

Chiotakis: It does! It almost rhymes.

Sloan: It’s close. But if we could have people post what they want for the holidays, it’ll be a whole new thing, and people will log on and there’ll be specials among the registry firms. And you and I will make a fortune cause we’ll trademark the term — and we can send people out to do our shopping next year.

Chiotakis: You know, I think there is such a thing, Allan, and it’s Santa Clause. So I mean, you know.

Sloan: Uh, I think that one’s been trademarked, Steve.

Chiotakis: Yeah, I don’t think you’re gonna get in on that one, Allan. See you at the shopping mall, Allan Sloan.

Sloan: Take care, Steve Chiotakis.

Chiotakis: Fortune Magazine’s Allan Sloan.

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