Here's how the logic goes. The Friday after Thanksgiving is, as we all know, known in the retail world as "Black Friday".
They mean that in a good way, as in profits that are "in the black". It's traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year kicking off the holiday buying season. Think about it. Everyone's off of work and by that time dying for an excuse to get away from their dysfunctional families.
Answer: the mall!
With the advent of online shopping over the past decade, Monday has unofficially become "Cyber Monday". Presumbably, all those looky-loo's who didn't pull the trigger on their purchases on Friday return to their computers on Monday and buy it online.
There's some truth to it. But, it's actually not the biggest online shopping day of the year. It's more like the fourth or fifth. The biggest days are around mid-December, the equivalent of 11th hour shopping for online buyers who want guaranteed shipping by the 25th.
Still, perception is reality. Many online eTailers like to capitalize on the "Cyber Monday" schtick and tend to offer special deals today to entice shoppers not to abandon those carts.
For the record, not everyone flees their families by running off to the mall. A lot of that "Black Friday" action happens online. So a good chunk of consumers are fleeing to their computers, instead. "Black Friday", however, was more like "Flat Friday" this year for eTailers with $534 million dollars in online retail sales. That's up a puny three million dollars from last year.
Given the times, all retailers should be grateful it wasn't "Red Friday".
Last updated: Dec 1, 2008
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio