Cyber Monday sales projected to top $6.6 billion, up 16.5 percent from last year

Author: CBS News
Packages on a conveyor belt at an Amazon fulfillment center. Photo courtesy of CBS News.

NEWS YORK, CBS Remember all the fuss about Black Friday? More than $5 billion dollars in sales? Well, sales on this Cyber Monday are projected to top $6.6 billion — up 16.5 percent from last year.

When you shop Amazon online, you’re really shopping at one of the company’s 75 fulfillment centers — each dedicated to the beeping, buzzing choreography of modern commerce.

“So how does it feel to see these conveyer belts whirling like this?” CBS News asked.

“It’s amazing it means it’s very big day for us,” said Amazon executive Muge Dogan, who helps run the company’s retail business. “We’re off to a great holiday start. We had an amazing Thanksgiving and Black Friday. We’re expecting today to be another record year.”

Last year, Amazon customers worldwide bought more than 64 million items on Cyber Monday. That’s 740 per second.

This year is expected to be even busier, and not just for Amazon.

Traditional retailers such as Best Buy, Target and Walmart are also pushing deep discounts online as most Americans — 58 percent of them — say they plan to make an online purchase on Monday.

“It’s part of this longstanding trend that people refer to as the retail apocalypse,” said CNET senior editor Dan Ackerman. He said Cyber Monday is part of a deepening shift away from traditional stores.

“You see this in a lot of the brick-and-mortar retailers that are closing stores or going out of business, the empty strip malls and shopping malls, but you also see people are still spending that money. They’re not holding onto it,” Ackerman said.

At work, Heather Culotta snapped up some online deals.

“The deals today are just as good as they are on Black Friday, but I don’t have to wait in line with people who would fight me for a TV.”

Amazon’s shipping system depends on high-speed conveyor belts, more than 14 miles of them are in one facility alone. Every package is an online purchase speeding to somebody’s home.

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