When Bob Cratchit asked his boss for the day off on Christmas Day, Scrooge who was a shrewd man of business immediately saw the downside: “Christmas is a poor excuse every 25th of December to pick a man’s pockets.” Fast forward a few hundred years, and now Bob Cratchit doesn’t have to wait until Christmas to pick old man Scrooge’s pockets — he can do it on Cyber Monday! Cyber Monday has become Black Friday’s rich cousin — only because consumers have found it’s a more efficient way to shop. It beats driving around a mall for hours looking for parking place, only to find that you also have to swim past an endless sea of hurried shoppers, and then have to stand in long lines to pay for merchandise. Savvy shoppers know that Black Friday and the weekend is best considered as a scouting mission, the prologue to real shopping… on Cyber Monday.
If Scrooge were alive today, he would have a coronary — according to estimates by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., an outplacement firm, lost productivity on account of employees shopping on Cyber Monday will cost American employers a whopping $449.8 million in 2015! Imagine that — half a billion dollars; you can just hear Scrooge’s irritation: “If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with ‘Cyber Monday’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!”
Despite Scrooge’s disdain for Cyber Monday, Bob Cratchit would be in good company. An estimated 121 million Americans shop online on Cyber Monday. That army of shoppers will pick Amazon’s shelves clean at a dizzying pace. In 2014, Amazon customers (worldwide) ordered more than 43 million products — that’s about 29,861 orders per minute, almost 500 per second! This peak level of consumerism is not lost on retailers, who are determined to transform Cyber Monday into Cyber Week. Bah, humbug.