In what feels like a never-ending stream of shopping options after Thanksgiving, today offers the chance to shop in a robe or pajamas, or -- for the brave -- a chance to shop at work.
Cyber Monday, a term coined by marketers in 2005 as part of an effort to persuade customers to shop online, has risen to the status of one of the most popular shopping days of the year. Last year's sales during "Cyber Week," the period from today to Dec. 2, totaled more than $6 billion spent in online purchases.
Many businesses in downtown Lewiston and Clarkston said they have chosen not to participate in Cyber Monday sales, some relying instead on another event meant to draw consumers out called "Small Business Saturday," the day after Black Friday. Beautiful Downtown Lewiston hosted such an event over the weekend.
But at least two well-known businesses in the area said they are participating in Cyber Monday.
Josh Wilson, manager of Lewiston's Home Depot, said an additional 400 items will be available online as part of the sale. He said it will "be its own event" separately from Black Friday activities, and customers can buy items online and pick them up in the store -- an option that is becoming ever more popular.
"It's getting more and more traffic all the time," Wilson said.
Though the store cannot currently accommodate "ship to store" requests and can only allow pickup of items it has in stock, Wilson said it does guarantee an item ordered online will be pulled from the shelves and ready for pickup within two hours.
Wilson said Home Depot has seen a recent spike in both in-store sales and online, and the store is hopeful for a successful day today.
In Moscow, the University of Idaho Bookstore is participating as well. Shelby Silflow, general merchandise manager for the bookstore, said Cyber Monday sales began last year with plans to continue this year with a selection of eight different discounted T-shirts.
"We really have looked at ourselves as a retailer, and we try to do the same things other retailers do," Silflow said. "What we're seeing is a lot of local community members come in, and a lot who are coming back to visit Moscow."
Silflow said the store had a successful Black Friday as well, and its Cyber Monday deal is particularly aimed at past graduates.
"Especially when campus is closed, we're reaching out to alumni and parents and fans as well," she said.
On a national level, the biggest Cyber Monday deals will happen on Amazon.com, where many items are available in limited quantities for certain amounts of time. A variety of categories including digital cameras, laptops, vacuum cleaners and kitchenware will be on sale.
Walmart will also have large discounts on high-dollar items like a $1,000 savings on 55-inch 3-D televisions, according to the company. New social tools will also be available to give "connected" customers early access to the sales.
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