Cyber Monday compared to Black Friday

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A Birmingham economist says Cyber Monday may offer some help to retailers, but it will not turn around the bleak outlook of the holiday shopping season.

Dr. Robert Robicheaux from UAB's School of Business talked with FOX6 News anchor Janice Rogers Monday morning about Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and how both days could help retail sales in the slumping economy. Robicheaux said while retailers hope to have a good day today online, retail sales over the internet account for less than five percent of overall sales.

"This is not going to turn around the bleak outlook of the holiday season," Robicheaux said.

Robicheaux said sales traffic is down 10 percent across the nation, and with no economic stimulus, the "outlook is not good," especially for small businesses.  He cited a survey which said 40 percent of households planned to spend 90 percent of their holiday money at Wal-Mart and other big-box retailers.

"Consumers have been told not to expect deep discounts, so they've stayed home," Robicheaux said.

Robicheaux said more price cuts could come soon, but he said retailers have to be careful not to cut prices too soon or too much because business inventories are down about 30 percent from this time last year.