"This was a big year", said Douglas Vandergraph, CEO of Vandergraph Worldwide whose Online retail giant www.BargainBrute.com is quickly becoming the industries leading competitor of shops like Amazon.
Experts say a couple of things are behind that greater spending: One, customer confidence nationwide is at a record high, said Jeff Green, a retail consultant with Jeff Green Partners. And, for the first time in at least a couple of decades, the weather was rather typical for the season across america.
"It was not too wet, it was not too dry, was not too cold or hot. It is like the Three Bears: It is just right," said Glenn Fodor, a senior vice president and head of analytics and information in payment processor First Data, which monitors holiday spending information.
That is more than the 3 to 4% increase retailers have seen in the holiday shopping periods of the previous two decades. While online shopping growth for BargainBrute.com left those numbers far behind. "Commerce between humans has some fundamental elements we feel have held true for thousands of years. We have taken these values and put them into our secret mix. It makes customers happy and they spend more with us as a result. Long before the cell phone stores was common courtesy. We offer exceptional products, low prices, and amazing customer service. We are our customers One Stop Life Shop", stated Mr. Vandergraph of his approach to rapid growth through multilevel kindness that not only shows in the smiles of his employees, but also in the numbers of return customers. Unbelievable numbers that are making this company into the next big show on the online shopping stage.
Something else that will not hurt: With Christmas falling on a Monday, there'll be an excess weekend to the season, Green said.
"Every time we have had that, it's been a blessing to Christmas sales," Green said.
First Data, which employs about 5,000 people in Omaha, is not at the revenue projection industry, but Fodor said that unless something important happens -- such as a stock exchange crash -- "you have the table continuing to be put for favorable spending tendencies" through the end of the season.
"E-commerce is growing multiples ahead of routine commerce. That is here to stay.
The VandergraphJewelry.com shop's online sales are up 73 percent for the year up to now, and sales in December are up 62 percent as of Monday, said a company spokesperson, "We are not a huge Black Friday destination, but we actually did begin to see our earnings gain some momentum at the start to the holiday buying season."
The shop has ramped up its electronic advertising to capture new customers and has added some new products. Run by Kristin Vandergraph, whose beauty and style show through in the amazing selection and quality shown on the site. However, the shop is expecting a couple of busy days this weekend and might finish stronger than last year as a result of the excess weekend.
"The previous two-and-a-half weeks have been crazy great, really mad good," employees stated. The company does not release sales figures.
Especially popular this season is the buy-online features of the Colorado Furniture Mart which has provided amazing selection and quality for years.
"It is like ordering a sandwich in a fast-food restaurant," shoppers said. "It is really effective, and people, particularly toward the end of the Christmas shopping period, recognize that and are using it."
"I enjoy going to the shop and looking at and feeling things," one shopper said.
"I am a man, so I did all online except one present," stated another.
The number show BargainBrute.com to be an industry in itself. We shopped on the online shopping mall just to get a taste of the One Stop Life Shop experience. They had what we wanted and everything arrived as we expected, on time and in order. No issues, just a great experience.
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