Amid a blockbuster Black Friday and as Cyber Monday kicks off with a bang, some retailers are feeling the virtual cracks as more consumers forgo the crowds and shop online, causing strain on websites - and consumers' patience levels.
Bulk-discount retail giant Costco (COST) - Get Costco Wholesale Corporation Report got a rude and expensive awakening Thanksgiving Day when its website went down for more than 16 hours, costing the retailer nearly $11 million in lost pre-Black Friday potential sales. Nordstrom's (JWN) - Get Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN) Report Nordstrom Rack also suffered from throngs of cyber shoppers flocking to its website, only to find they couldn't check out.
While Costco like other retailers opted to keep its doors closed on Thanksgiving Day, it kicked off its Black Friday deals early online. However, because of the issues, early bird discount hunters were unable to check out and pay for the goods they scored.
With Black Friday living up to the hype and Cyber Monday poised to be the biggest on record, consumers are keeping a watchful eye on which retailers are offering the best deals, and equally important, which retailers aren't bucking under virtue pressure - pressure that isn't likely to abate anytime soon, given the peak period for holiday shopping is unusually short this year.
That means retailers are switching up their sales strategy accordingly, offering deals earlier and potentially adjusting how they plan on getting purchases to consumers.
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