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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Local retailers see rise in online orders as Cyber Monday sales are expected to break record this year

A shopper walks by holiday window displays, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, in New York. With people staying home as virus cases surge, Cyber Monday was expected to be the biggest online shopping day yet,  (Associated Press)
A shopper walks by holiday window displays, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, in New York. With people staying home as virus cases surge, Cyber Monday was expected to be the biggest online shopping day yet, (Associated Press)

With more consumers opting to shop online this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, industry experts are predicting Cyber Monday to be the largest day for internet sales in history.

Locally, sales reported by some Spokane-area businesses during the weekend into Monday appeared to be following the trend.

Industry analysts are predicting consumers will spend between $10.8 billion and $12.7 billion on Cyber Monday, amounting to a 15% to 35% increase compared to last year, according to Adobe Analytics.

“Cyber Monday is on track to break all previous records for online sales,” Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights, said in a Monday morning statement.

Spokane-based spice and rub company Spiceology saw a 400% increase in sales over the past five days, compared with last year, Spiceology CEO Chip Overstreet said Monday.

“Black Friday was very strong, and I’m expecting Cyber Monday will beat that,” he said. “All five days have been record-setting. (Sales) have been very strong. Our fulfillment team is working nonstop.”

Spiceology held a Cyber Monday sale with 20% off its products, some of which include several new Sriracha and MeatEater blends, Overstreet said, adding the new blends and gift sets have been top sellers this year.

“People love to buy the gift sets and give them as gifts,” he said. “It’s just a fun way to help someone liven up their kitchen, which we are all spending more time in given COVID.”

Revival Tea Co., which operates a website as well as a brick-and-mortar store in downtown Spokane, has seen about a 50% increase in online sales this holiday shopping season compared with last year, owner Drew Henry said.

“We began seeing a huge influx of online orders starting Thanksgiving and it has carried into today,” Henry said in a phone interview Monday morning.

To prepare for a busy holiday shopping season, Revival Tea hired two employees and ramped up tea production last month to ensure a steady supply of product.

The company, which partnered with Spokane-based Sonderen Packaging to create “tea boxes” to be sold in grocery stores next year, opted to use the new boxes for a holiday gift set featuring four of its teas, Henry said.

Consumers spent a record $4.7 billion online on Small Business Saturday, representing more than a 30% increase compared to last year, and businesses experienced online revenue growth of 294% on Saturday compared to an average day in October, according to Adobe Analytics.

Holiday spending on Black Friday deals through the weekend showed consumers spent more than $62 billion, an increase of 2.1% over the same period last year, according to analytics company GlobalData.

For Auntie’s Bookstore, sales during the past four days have been “greater than expected,” owner John Waite said.

It’s too early to tell how much sales have increased compared with last year, but Waite estimates sales are about five times more than what the store typically generates.

“It’s going really well. Online sales are definitely a big component this year,” said Waite, adding top sellers so far have been “The Cold Millions” by Jess Walter and “A Promised Land” by Barack Obama.

Auntie’s increased staffing and inventory in preparation for the holidays, he added.

“We ordered a lot more stuff,” he said. “We did plan ahead for that and are in good shape as far as inventory.”

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