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Sales surge on Cyber Monday for Billings businesses amid pandemic

army navy store.jpg
Posted at 6:27 PM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 20:31:08-05

This Cyber Monday is already set to break internet sale records. That’s because the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed foot traffic at brick-and-mortar stores back amid fears among consumers of virus spreading.

One business in downtown Billings, known for its array of online apparel and gear, is Army Navy Surplus on Montana Avenue, where owner Eddie Schmidt says sales have been good despite the economic downturn felt by many.

It's because in-person shopping has dropped this holiday season.

“It’s been really positive, sales-wise, here for us,” he said. "We've been exceptionally busy, so it's pretty normal today, for sales off the internet.”

The momentum of Cyber Monday is kicked up a notch for the business, where shipping manager Zachary Phelps came to work to a stack of new online orders to fulfill.

“It could be anywhere from a couple to 60,” he said.

All day, the package prep hasn’t stopped.

“Today, especially, is one of those days that I can't keep up,” said Phelps.

Although Cyber Monday is keeping him busy, he says it’s the coronavirus that’s really changed business.

“I mean, we had a pretty established online presence as it was, but since March, it has definitely increased due to people stuck at home online buying for sure and today especially is one of those days that I can't keep up,” he said.

This holiday season is predicted to be the biggest ever for online sales because people are generally staying home. Adobe Analytics says internet shopping hit $9 billion, an increase of over 22 percent since 2019.

The data tracking agency also reported that Black Friday sales were down by 52 percent this year.

This Cyber Monday is expected to be a record sales year hitting up to $12.7 billion, which would be a 35 percent jump over last year, according to Adobe Analytics.

Schmidt believes the success of online sales won’t end as Cyber Monday comes to a close this year.

“I think it will continue now through the winter,” he said.

That’s because experts don’t see the virus winding down anytime soon.

“I think people are still awfully nervous, and quite frankly the internet's made it very easy for people to shop. And I know a lot of parts of the country nobody is out and this just solves it. So, it should continue to be a really positive here,” he said.