After a stellar sales weekend for many merchants across Iowa, on-line retailers are hoping for a boost today with what they’re calling Cyber Monday. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the results that have come in so far of sales from so-called Black Friday and the rest of the Thanksgiving weekend indicate very strong consumer confidence.
He says the weekend of bargain hunting was stronger than most economists had expected, exceeding his own predictions. Goss says sales were up between six and eight-percent, which is about twice what he’d expected, though he predicts a slow-down in the weeks ahead.
As for on-line sales, Goss says more Iowans are skipping the malls and using their computers to buy their holiday gifts — and everyday purchases. Goss says Internet shopping is growing anywhere between 15 and 30% a year and he expects a boost this year of about 20% from last year, what he calls "the brightest spot in overall retail buying for this year and for the years to come."
So why is today expected to be such a big on-line day with this Cyber Monday? He says everyone’s back at work after the long holiday weekend and while they should be working, they’re using their work computers to do a little shopping in between assignments, a habit he says will likely continue to grow through the holiday shopping season.
Goss anticipates overall holiday sales will be up for the Midwest region between 3 and 4% from last year, which he predicts will be better than the national sales numbers.