Christian Stores Capitalize on Cyber Monday

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Christian stores and suppliers are offering deals for Cyber Monday to capitalize on what are expected to be record sales for the official start of the online Christmas shopping season.

Spending for Cyber Monday (Nov. 26) is expected to exceed the $1.25 billion reached in 2011 for an increase of 20 percent—with sales approaching $1.5 billion or even higher, according to data from ComScore. Spending on Cyber Monday has more than doubled in the past five years.

With a limit of three per item per order, LifeWay Christian Stores is running a Cyber Monday sale, including offering $5 for Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman (Zondervan); Crazy Love by Francis Chan (David C Cook); and Heaven Changes Everything by Todd and Sonja Burpo (Thomas Nelson). The chain's other online specials include $10 for NIV Adventure Bible (Zonderkidz); The Action Bible (David C Cook) and The Gaither Homecoming Bible (Thomas Nelson).

Blessings Christian Marketplace, a chain of four stores based in Chilliwack, British Columbia, is running a Cyber Monday sale, including offering free shipping and 10 percent discount on all purchases.

Among suppliers, Christian Audio is offering direct-to-consumer Cyber Monday deals, including a free A Happy Trails Christmas audiobook by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans (Revell/Baker Publishing Group) with the purchase of any audiobook.

Marcher Lord Press is offering a pre-order Cyber Monday deal—$5 discount on the $34.99 retail price—on its first hardcover book for A Throne of Bones by Vox Day. Chalice Press is touting its biggest Cyber Monday Sale ever, offering free shipping and 30 percent discount on purchases up to $5,000.

Cyber Monday arrives on the heels of data showing a record number of shoppers hit the stores on the Thanksgiving weekend. ComScore's data showed that online sales for Black Friday, Nov. 23—the day after Thanksgiving and the official start of the Christmas shopping season—surpassed $1 billion for the first time. Sales rose 26 percent to $1.04 billion from $816 million seen on Black Friday in 2011.

The National Retail Federation estimates that overall sales in November and December will rise 4.1 percentthis year to $586.1 billion, below last year's 5.6 percent growth. The online part of that is expected to rise 15 percent to $68.4 billion, according to Forrester Research.

"This Black Friday was by far the biggest ever," said Britt Beemer, founder and chairman of America's Research Group who is known for his Christian retail channel studies. "We've never seen 60 percent of consumers shop in a 12-14-hour window like we've seen this year."

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