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Early Birds Should Sleep In Next Year

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I might have mentioned the advantage of spending Black Friday online (or waiting for Cyber Monday) to certain crack-of-dawn-rising family members if not for the tryptophan coma my mother caused, and for the fact that it was 3 a.m. This Internet shopping thing, according to Nielsen//NetRatings, is catching on, even if this rise-and-shop ritual is still strongly in play.

Early Birds Should Sleep In On Black Friday
Next Thanksgiving, Try Sleeping In

They came home, by the way, just I was recovering and about to injure myself again with breakfast turkey, without the Best Buy-promised laptops, flat screen TVs, and video cameras.

Once in line at 4 a.m., just like the invitation said, an employee informed them that, from this point in line, they should be able to make their purchases and get out of the store by 11.

Needless to say, Value City received a few more not-early-enough birds.

Perhaps seeking to avoid profound disappointments like this one, other shoppers flooded their favorite online stores. Nielsen’s Holiday eShopping Index increased 12 percent on Black Friday, attracting 19.2 million unique visitors, up two million from last year.

“This year, shoppers went online to check out the latest in consumer electronics (+211%), including flat screen TVs and new game consoles such as the Nintendo Wii and the highly coveted Sony PlayStation 3,” said Heather Dougherty, senior retail analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings.

“Apparel (+117%) continues to be one of the most popular holiday gifts, as evidenced by that category’s growth on Black Friday as well. What is somewhat surprising is the strong showing of the Home & Garden (+87%) category, as consumers invest in their homes despite the slowdown in the real estate market,” she said.

Online shoppers mirrored, virtually, what offline shoppers were doing. Visits to BestBuy.com spiked 316 percent, drawing in an additional 1.69 million visitors. eBay brought in 7.5 million visitors, an increase of 16 percent from the previous year.

Here’s the breakdown:

1. eBay 7.5 million +16%

2. Amazon 3.4 million +45%

3. Wal-Mart 3.2 million +191%

4. Target 2.3 million +107%

5. BestBuy 1.6 million +316%

6. Cicuit City 1.14 million +211%

7. Shopzilla 1.03 million +83%

8. JCPenney 0.996 million +158%

9. Overstock 0.957 million +155%

10. Sears 0.887 million +93%

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Early Birds Should Sleep In Next Year
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