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Flat Cyber Monday sales point to dull deals, shipping woes

Bloomberg

Lackluster deals and scarce inventory kept Cyber Monday sales flat compared with a year ago, the latest indication that shoppers made purchases earlier in the season due to concerns about global shipping logjams.
US shoppers spent $7.1 billion on Cyber Monday in New York, according to Adobe Inc. It’s too early to determine if Cyber Monday breaks last year’s online spending record of $10.8 billion. Spending peaks during the final few hours of the big sale day since shoppers fear prices will only rise between now and Christmas. Adobe was expected to release final Cyber Monday sales estimates. It earlier predicted sales will rise 4% to $11.3 billion.
“While the spending may pick up during the evening hours on the West Coast, it reaffirms that many consumers had fulfilled their shopping urge earlier in the season,” said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights. Hot sellers so far included LOL Surprise dolls, Lego sets and Star Wars toys, Adobe said. Discounts were weak compared with a year earlier.
For instance, electronics had average discounts of about 12% compared with 27% last year, according to Adobe, which tracks 1 trillion visits to
retail websites and monitors sales of more than 100 million products.
Big sale days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been gradually losing their prominence as shoppers spread their spending over longer periods. Black Friday spending of $8.9 billion fell slightly from a year ago, Adobe said. Still, US online spending during November rose 13.6% from a year ago to $99.1 billion, according to Adobe.
The total for November and December combined is set to reach $207 billion, up 10% from last year’s pandemic-fueled record, Adobe said.
The overall spending uptick is good news for merchants who sell on Amazon.com Inc, so long as they got inventory into the US in time. Some Amazon aggregators — businesses that raise money to buy and invest in popular Amazon brands — said sales are up as much as 50% from a year ago for products that make good gifts and are adequately stocked.
“This is a make-or-break season for aggregators and whoever has inventory is going to win,” said Walter Gonzalez, CEO  of Miami-based GOJA.

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