As the first weekend of holiday shopping ended, it was already clear that Americans were spending less than in 2008, leaving large retailers counting more than ever on an expected rise in online sales during today’s “Cyber Monday.”
Black Friday sales were up just a hair from 2008, but dropped over the weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. The NRF predicts a 1 percent decline in holiday sales this year.
Brooklynite Sean Smith and his wife usually shop on Black Friday, but stayed home this year.
“Presents are out,” he said. “We’re more concerned with paying our bills.” Smith, 38, lost his job this year when the hospital he worked at closed. Yesterday, he bought himself a discounted computer keyboard for $19.
“We’re not even putting up a tree,” said Smith, father of a 1-year-old girl.
Many avoided stores this weekend but online retailers expect continued growth of the nascent Cyber Monday sales. Michael McKenna, a 20-year-old college student at Pace University, already bought an Xbox 360 for $199 from Wal-Mart’s Web site.
“I just hate crowds and it’s easier,” he said. “But this year I’m definitely spending less. I depend on support from my parents and I know they lost money in the stock market this year.”