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Do Black Friday And Cyber Monday Still Matter?45:51

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With guest host Jane Clayson.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and beyond. The holiday retail season.

A shopper carries some of the clothes she bought at a Tommy outlet store at Dolphin Mall in Sweetwater, Fla., Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. There were squabbles here and there, and elbows got thrown, but the Friday morning crowds appeared smaller than usual and less frenzied, in part because many Americans took advantage of stores' earlier opening hours to do their shopping on Thanksgiving Day. (AP)
A shopper carries some of the clothes she bought at a Tommy outlet store at Dolphin Mall in Sweetwater, Fla., Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. There were squabbles here and there, and elbows got thrown, but the Friday morning crowds appeared smaller than usual and less frenzied, in part because many Americans took advantage of stores' earlier opening hours to do their shopping on Thanksgiving Day. (AP)

Cyber Monday today, as retailers offer up their juiciest online deals. Free shipping, rock-bottom prices on electronics, and beyond. But Cyber Monday and Black Friday may be losing their supremacy these days. Sales slipping – just a bit – partly because many retailers are spreading out their deals. Plus, shopping on your smartphone means you can start even earlier, without having to brave those crowds at the mall. Is this a saner way? Or just more shopping pressure, longer? This hour, On Point: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the evolving shopping season.
-- Jane Clayson

Guests

Wendy Liebmann, CEO and chief shopper for WSL Strategic Retail. (@WendyLiebmann)

Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for the NPD Group. (@marshalcohen)

Steven Greenhouse, labor and workplace reporter for the New York Times. (@greenhousenyt)

From The Reading List

TIME: Black Friday Is Already Here -- "Based on the proliferation of broad, often substantial discounts that invoke the phrase 'Black Friday' days or even a full week before the actual day arrives, it appears as if Black Friday sales are in effect right now. Deal-tracking sites such as TheBlackFriday.com have rounded up long lists of retailers that have already tried to grab shoppers’ attention by launching big holiday sales under names like 'Pre-Black Friday Deals,' 'Black Friday All Week Long Sale,' and 'Cyber Monday Now.'"

ADWEEK: Why Black Friday is Overrated (And Always Was) -- "Oddly enough, retailers themselves have been the primary force behind Black Friday’s eroding significance. In an attempt to compete with online sellers, brick-and-mortar stores began offering 'Pre-Black Friday' deals on Thanksgiving night, then Thanksgiving Day, and then a week or more earlier. This year, for example, Toys"R"Us has started 'Black Friday Make Easy'—which means opening on Thursday. Best Buy began putting technology gifts on sale Nov. 20. Walmart started offering free shipping on the season’s hot gifts as of Nov. 1."

New York Times: On Black Friday, Walmart Is Pressed for Wage Increases — "While millions of shoppers flocked to Walmart stores nationwide on Black Friday, thousands of protesters descended on Walmarts to protest what they said were the retailer’s low wages. About 300 people rallied Friday morning at a Walmart near Union Station in Washington, while 11 Walmart workers and supporters were arrested on charges of blocking traffic outside a Walmart on West Monroe Street in Chicago. "

This program aired on December 1, 2014.

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