Walmart breaks Cyber Monday, will debut sales on Sunday

Last year's Cyber Monday was the largest U.S. shopping day ever, with over $2 billion in sales

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
November 23, 2015
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I've been really good this year. I'm pretty on top of my shopping list, and I pretty much know what I'm going to get everyone, even if I haven't bought them yet. I feel pretty proud of myself, and happy, because, as the years go on, I have less and less interest in blatant and crass commercial holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Sure you can save a few bucks, but something about it feels dirty to me. Especially when I think of them making poor, minimum wage making, retail workers open their stores on Thanksgiving and Christmas. These holidays were always commercial, but never like this. Am I being naive? Perhaps, but I also feel like I need to have principles. So there!

Now comes the latest sign that we've gotten out of control with our shopping habits: Walmart is stretching the definition of Cyber Monday beyond it's breaking point by announcing that it will be releasing those deals, get this, on Sunday. 

All of Walmart’s Cyber Monday savings will be available to customers starting Sunday evening, November 29 at 8 p.m. ET (that's 5 p.m. for all you west coasters, so you might have to eat dinner at the computer that night).

The move makes a lot sense, if you think about it. I mean, there's no reason to not give people even more time to shop, since the Internet allows for 24/7shopping. So why not stretch this thing out and increase the number of dollars people will spend?

Here's how Walmart justifies it:

"The change is aimed at providing a simpler and more convenient experience for customers who are searching the Web on Sunday night and often waiting up past midnight to do their shopping. Google searches for the term 'Cyber Monday' clearly surge on Monday, but there is also a significant spike on Sunday evening," the company wrote.

"And, historically, when Walmart released select Cyber Monday deals on Sunday evening, traffic increased significantly."

The company is already giving previews for some of its deals as well, for things like TVs, trampolines, video drones and Microsoft Surface Pro 3s.

The origins of Cyber Monday started when people used their high speed Internet at work to go buy all the things they had missed over Thanksgiving weekend (clever bastards). Now it's become the largest shopping day in the United States. 

Last year a total of $2.038 billion was spent online through desktops alone on Cyber Monday, for a 17% gain from the year before. That total was a record breaker: it is the largest single shopping day in U.S. history, and was the first ever to break the $2 billion marker.

It easily beat out Thanksgiving, which saw, $1 billion spent, and Black Friday, which saw $1.5 billion. With an extra 12 hours or so of deals this year, you can only imagine what the numbers are going to look like.

Look, I'm no fool. I know what the holidays are all about. But, man, can we please just have one day that isn't about shopping? Wishful thinking, I know. But I can still dream.

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