At Lands' End, It's More Than Just Cyber Monday
DODGEVILLE, Wis. — At Lands' End, the fleece-focused retailer is ready for the day that's been dubbed "Cyber Monday."
On this Monday after Thanksgiving, they have 50 UPS trailers parked outside their main distribution center. Why? Last year, they processed 180,000 orders on this particular day — 21,000 during their busiest hour. And retailers are bracing for a bigger volume this year.
But Lands' End's online strategy has evolved beyond the one-day focus.
The retailer began six days of heavy online discounting and promotion last Wednesday, and those deals will culminate with Cyber Monday. (Read More: A Blockbuster Black Friday? Brace for Cyber Monday)
Each day at 5 a.m., the website unveils online "doorbusters" and keeps them up until they sell out, which isn't long.
The Cyber Monday deal, a classic canvas tote selling for $10, down from its usual $25, sold out in 33 minutes. The previous day, a fleece blanket needed only 11 minutes to sell out.
The key to putting Cyber Monday into context is realizing that it's important, but it is just a slice in a huge retail pie. (Read More: Merry Christmas! Time to Play Let's Make a Deal)
For instance, Black Friday is considered a day for malls and foot traffic. Last Friday, was a huge shopping day, but it also included online, which eclipsed $1 billion for the first time.
To be a success, big box retailers need online growth, and online retailers need a lot more than just Cyber Monday growth.
Also, just like online shopping is more than just Cyber Monday, holiday shopping is about more than just money spent.
It's also about jobs.
Like shipping giants FedEx and UPS, which hire 55,000 seasonal workers to help with the holiday rush. Lands' End, a unit of Sears Holdings, expects to add 1,000 temporary workers to staff an extra shift at its distribution centers during this busy season. Instead of fulfilling orders from 6:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the massive Dodgeville, Wisc., distribution facility, workers will go until midnight.
The seven miles of conveyor belts were pretty much full of orders by 6:30 a.m., and that makes everyone happy, which seems like more of a pattern this holiday retail season. Shoppers are spending. Consumers are getting deals. People are getting jobs. Companies are making money. And it looks like the U.S. economy benefits from all of that.
-By Brian Shactman, CNBC reporter; Follow Brian Shactman @bshactman.
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