Petal business benefits from big Cyber Monday sales

Petal business benefits from big Cyber Monday sales

Millions of Americans are logging on to do online shopping for Cyber Monday, and Flathau's Fine Foods in Petal is expecting big sales.

Fortune magazine reports that shoppers are expected to spend $3 billion Monday at major retailers like Amazon, a 12 percent increase from 2014.

"We do expect today to be a record," said Dave Clark, SVP Amazon Operations. "This is part of a season of deals for us with Black Friday and Cyber Monday for us, but Cyber Monday is the king. And it is going to be the biggest day for us."

Jeff Flathau, owner of Flathau's Fine Foods, said his bakery does business with some of the major online retailers and also said he expects a big sales day.

"Online shipping is a big part of our business," Flathau said. "We start getting ready for that months in advance. We ship to We ship to Overstock. We ship to UnbeatableSale, to name a few. Probably about 10 different companies and they start getting their orders in early in the year. And, of course, today is a bang-up day for them, and we're kind of sitting around waiting to see what the results are. We do have our own website, but our sales are minimal compared to the sales that the other companies are generating."

This year is the tenth anniversary for Cyber Monday, and Flathau said he has seen his online sales grow consistently.

"I'd say in the last six years, it's grown each year," he said. "We started out very small with Amazon, and it's grown at a good relative pace over time. And with a couple of new ones, Overstock and Unbeatable, they're kind of catching up to Amazon, which is good."

Along with more sales expected on Cyber Monday this year, online sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday were also up, according to MarketWatch.

"Consumers spent an estimated $4.45 billion online Thursday and Friday, with Black Friday rising 14 percent from a year ago," according to a MarketWatch article.

Flathau said he is not surprised more people are opting to shop online.

"No, it's not surprising," Flathau said. "I'm guilty of that myself, but I think it's good and bad. It's good for our business. It helps kind of create another avenue of sales, and I think for the future, you have to be involved in that in order to move forward. It's going to always be in storefronts or in the mall, so we're kind of preparing ahead. Hopefully we can upgrade our website to do a little bit more of that, but in the meantime, we'll keep supplying these big guys."

Flathau said even though he is waiting on final sale numbers from the big retailers, he said his drop shipping sales are up.

"Ours, I mean, they're up today," he said.  "Higher than normal. They're not where we can't handle them. We could do a lot more of that, but I think that's one of the major differences."

According to NBC News, Amazon said it expects to ship 40 million Cyber Monday orders worldwide.