Is it Cyber Monday already -- the online shopping day that follows Black Friday in November?
Well, yes and no.
According to Walmart, today -- Aug. 12 -- is Cyber Monday, albeit “Back to Class Cyber Monday.”
Today, the Arkansas-based mega-retailer is advertising back-to-school “online specials” just for the day. Walmart.com is offering online deals on apparel and uniforms, school supplies, school electronics and merchandise for the home and dorm. Another retailer, CVS, was offering members of its loyalty program a $15 discount on e-commerce purchases of $60 or more and free shipping as part of an online only, Monday promotion.
The back-to-school shopping season is second only to the holiday season in terms of sales, and competition among retailers is expected to be particularly fierce this year.
Consumers are expected to spend $11 billion less this year than last year on school supplies, according to the National Retail Federation, which released its findings in mid-July.
Back-to-school and back-to-college spending is expected to reach about $73 billion this year, down from last year's sales of $83.8 billion, the NRF said.
However, a more recent consumer survey suggests that back-to-school spending may be more robust than previously projected. A survey by WSL Strategic Retail found that 88 percent of shoppers expected to spend at least the same or more this year.
Whatever the final sales figure, retail analysts agree that retailers will roll out their biggest back-to-school deals and discounts this month.