NAPLES — A Southwest Florida posh pet store made Cyber Monday sales a weekend event.
Like many stores, Naples-based Pucci & Catana Luxury Pet Boutique with a store on Fifth Avenue South and another in Palm Beach ran sales online from Friday, Nov. 23, through Monday.
"So far, we have tripled our sales from last year," general manager Ashley Scouller said. "We are extremely thrilled."
Despite record levels of online spending over the Black Friday weekend, 129.2 million Americans planned to shop on Cyber Monday this year, up from the 122.8 million who shopped last year, and the 106.9 million who shopped on Cyber Monday in 2010, according to a survey conducted for Shop.org by BIGinsight. The survey, conducted Friday and Saturday by BIGinsight for Shop.org, polled 4,005 consumers and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.6 percent.
Pucci & Catana offered 30 percent off the merchandise bought in its stores, online or by phone order. The shop specializes in high-end products for dogs and cats, from crystal-studded collars and leashes to cozy beds, designer carriers and specialty grooming products.
Some of the more popular items among pet owners included the cashmere sweater ($163), peanut butter treats with 24 bones ($11), wool color-block scarf ($20) with matching sweater ($45) and head warmer for dogs ($25 to $28).
Despite an increase in online sales and predicting it to become much more popular, Scouller said customers still are traditional and prefer shopping in stores.
"The way we have been going, we have already surpassed last year's sales online," she said.
Pucci & Catana doesn't release holiday sales figures.
Meanwhile, Best Buy continued with Thanksgiving holiday sales with a less-frenzied atmosphere.
"We are expecting even stronger online sales today (Monday)," said Eric Thompson, North Naples Best Buy store manager, gauging the volume of customers picking up merchandise at the store.
Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday were two of Best Buy's busiest days. With the ease of being able to purchase online, Thompson said the growing trend is shoppers purchasing online and picking up at the store, even though the store offers free delivery.
Best Buy doesn't release holiday sales information.
Best Buy offered a $25 off coupon with purchases of more than $250 for anyone opting for an in-store pickup. The return date was extended until Jan. 24, 2013.
Some of Best Buy's cyber sales included Best Buy's brand, Insignia, 55-inch LCD television ($599); Toshiba-brand laptop ($269.99) and Apple-brand MacBook Air ($1,024.98). In addition, all iPods were on sale.
The number of shoppers who planned to use their smartphone or other mobile device on Cyber Monday increased 14.4 percent to 20.4 million this year compared to 17.8 million in 2011. In just three years, the number of Americans saying they would use their mobile device to shop on Cyber Monday has skyrocketed from 3.8 percent, or 3.6 million in 2009 to 15.8 percent, or 20.4 million in 2012.
While the majority of shoppers — an estimated 88 percent, or 113.7 million people — will make purchases from their home computer, nearly 16 million, or 12.4 percent also will use their computers at work to shop this year, according to the survey.
Even though Bill Smith, a Fort Myers-based appliance and electronics chain, advertised Cyber Monday deals on its website, it doesn't actually sell anything online.
Instead, the store handles the bargain sales at local stores.
Chris Riching, executive vice president of Bill Smith Inc., said the website is non-transactional, but the chain needed to have a presence online and didn't want to miss the opportunity to offer many deals.
Bill Smith offered additional discounts on clearance merchandise, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0, a mobile tablet ($149); a Sharp, 52-inch Aquos® LED Smart high-definition television ($799); a General Electric top load washer ($349) and a General Electric stove ($399), according to its online advertisement.
Riching said it is important for customers to visit the store and have a dialogue with an employee to identify their needs.
Bill Smith reported greater Black Friday weekend sales.
Riching said there was a 22 percent increase year over year. He couldn't release sales information.
"We expect it to continue today (Monday) because it seems as an extension of the Black Friday weekend," said Riching, noting a steady increase in sales during October and November.
Bill Smith is developing a new website that will allow online purchases for electronics.
Some pointed to a down side of the online buying.
"Florida TaxWatch would like to remind all Florida shoppers that while out-of-state retailers do not collect this tax on behalf of the state, Florida law still imposes the tax on such purchases and it's the responsibility of the consumer to pay it," said Dominic M. Calabro, president and chief executive of Florida TaxWatch, in a statement.
"Unfortunately, countless Florida employers are operating at a significant disadvantage because of out-of-state companies benefiting from this tax evasion, and we encourage the Legislature to remedy this imbalance during the upcoming legislative session,'' he said.