Cyber Monday retailers report strong sales

FRESNO, Calif.

The numbers are in and it looks like we're off to a great start to the holiday shopping season, with more shoppers spending more money compared to last year.

Cyber Monday is a time where people can lock in on discounted deals online instead of inside a store. It allows people like Rebecca Price to avoid long lines and big crowds. especially since she has little kids to deal with.

"Maybe if my kids were a little older I might enjoy doing some black Friday shopping with girlfriends or something but right now with three little ones it's not, it's not an option," Price said.

Two of Rebecca's daughters enjoyed shopping with their mom in a far less crowded Target Monday morning. The River Park location changed dramatically over the frenzy in North Fresno on Black Friday. Dozens of people stormed the aisles, joining others around the country in record breaking fashion.

ABC News says people spent $52.4 billion dollars in stores and online since thanksgiving. That's up 16 percent from $45 billion last year. And target officials noticed the increase themselves.

"I can tell you the traffic here at the store was extremely strong," Ralph Watkins of Target said.

All that heavy promotion paid off.

A record number of bargain hunters took advantage of the markdowns. 226 million people shopped in stores or online over the weekend. 14 million more than a year ago.

Small businesses also got a piece of the nation's holiday shopping spree. Abbie Mast owns a children's clothing store at the fig garden village. She spent a lot of time using social media to remind customers of their holiday deals.

"We did a really good job of putting the word out there to remind them over and over to not forget us when Black Friday came around," she said.

Cyber Monday is the busiest online retail day of the year. And if it's like anything we saw this past weekend, people will continue their buying binge late into the night.

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