By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) – One in six Marylanders is expected to shop on the internet Monday, taking advantage of big sales and more small retailers are learning the power of the web.  Mike Hellgren has new analysis on the economic impact of “cyber Monday.”

Many Marylanders avoided the crowds and the packed parking lots as they clicked their way to bargains this Cyber Monday.

“You get the same deals.  Sometimes you get even better because you can find coupons for free shipping or five dollars off here or there,” said Sarah Williams.  “It’s very convenient.”

It’s also lucrative.  At the Hampden boutique Ma Petit Shoe, the store’s signature footware and chocolates are all available on the web and the site draws customers to the brick and mortar store on the Avenue.

“There’s only so many hours in a Black Friday and there are so many places families are trying to go so I think the online store gives them an opportunity to decide whether we’re going to be one of the stops on the way,” said Glenn Bennett.

The National Retail Federation gave birth to the day just five years ago, after noting many shoppers were hot on spending during the Thanksgiving weekend and were using high-speed connections to shop when they got back to work Monday morning.

“If I didn’t work in retail and I was a regular shopper, I’d definitely be online.  They have the same deals they have in the stores,” said Shantel Pinnock.

With shops across Maryland turning to Twitter to advertise specials and most running deals Monday only, the impact on the state’s economy is huge, adding to what has been a promising November.

“We’ve had indications we’ve had a stronger-than-last-year selling season.  Last week, we’ve seen increases that are encouraging,” said Patrick Donoho, president of Maryland Retailers Association.

“People’s moods and attitudes are much better.  Everyone’s feeling a little more confident about their holiday spending this year,” said Bennett.

The deals are still on; most online specials run until midnight.


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