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Have you recovered from your Cyber Monday and Black Friday shopping experiences yet? The spending frenzy can make grocery shopping seem downright mundane in comparison. But what if grocery stores got in on the action?

A recent report by the coupon processing company Inmar says Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers are hungry for grocery store deals as well. 61% of all shoppers surveyed said they would be interested if their supermarket offered Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals – and a resounding 93% of mobile shoppers said the same. “Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become both media and shopper events,” Inmar reports, yet it wonders why “this trend has not extended to the grocery industry in meaningful ways.”

A handful of grocery chains did try to get in the game yesterday. New York’s Fairway Market and St. Louis-based Straub’s Markets offered Cyber Monday discounts on online orders, though both stores’ websites primarily sell gourmet and gift items and not traditional groceries. New Jersey-based ShopRite, meanwhile, offered a Cyber Monday deal of $20 off a $150 order on its ShopRite From Home online grocery site. Other stores simply rode Cyber Monday’s coattails, hosting special offers to mark the day – New York’s C-Town Supermarkets held a gift card giveaway “in honor of Cyber Monday”, and Schenectady’s Price Chopper offered a bonus coupon to Facebook fans who “liked” its Cyber Monday-related post.

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But mostly, grocers sat out the two frenzied days of shopping. Are they missing out? Grocery stores “have an opportunity to motivate mobile shoppers in innovative ways,” Inmar says. Though some would argue that supermarkets already have a big shopping day all to themselves. “We have our Black Friday, before the holiday,” a supermarket manager in Virginia told WHSV-TV the day before Thanksgiving. “Everybody’s out buying food for their meals then.” Grocery stores are traditionally packed on the day before Thanksgiving – that particular Virginia store estimates it sold twice as much on Wednesday, as it does on a typical day. And a HyVee store director tells KCAU-TV that the two days before Christmas are even busier.

So grocery shoppers may be hungry for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, but after the hectic day they had last Wednesday, grocery stores could probably use a breather. At least there are hypermarkets like Walmart and Target, where you can do your grocery shopping and holiday shopping all in one place if you’re so inclined. Just not the way reporter Crystal Wylie of the Richmond (Kentucky) Register did.

“We tried to drop in for a few groceries at Walmart”, she writes – on Thanksgiving night, just before the store’s Black Friday frenzy began. “It was stupid of us,” she acknowledges in her column, “I know that now (stop shaking your head at me).” Wylie describes how she maneuvered her way around caution tape, orange cones, security guards and crowds of deal-seekers as she simply tried to buy a few necessities. “I’m just getting some rice,” she apologized to one man who was blocking the shelf. “You’re here for groceries?” the man asked incredulously.

Perhaps it’s just as well then, that grocery stores stay out of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday game. Let deal-seekers trample each other for the hot new toys and electronics – other shoppers may just want to be left alone to buy some rice.

photo by: Muffet

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