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News
Cyber Monday expected to add to holiday record-breaking sales

BARBOURSVILLE — Jill Sampson was at the Huntington Mall still in search of good holiday shopping deals on “Super Sunday,” which is the holiday shopping day right after Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

“I don’t really like shopping online,” she said. “So the Friday, Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving are my three days to get most of my Christmas shopping done.”

Based on Adobe Analytics data, Super Sunday is the day to buy toys, which have an average 32% discount, and computers with an average 18% discount.

Adobe’s data for Small Business Saturday showed a new record of $3.6 billion in online sales, representing a strong 18% year-over-year growth. The full holiday season is tracking at 14.9% year-over-year growth with $68.2 billion spent online between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30, representing a comparable increase of 16.5% year-over-year.

As forecasted, all 30 days in November have surpassed $1 billion in online sales, with 11 days surpassing $2 billion.

On Small Business Saturday, smartphone revenue made up 41.2% of all e-commerce revenue, a YoY growth of 22.2%. This is slightly higher than the season to date trend of 35.9% of revenue, showing that consumers are increasingly making their gift purchases on smartphones.

Top selling products on Small Business Saturday included the hottest toys, like “Frozen 2” Toys, L.O.L Surprise and NERF, along with top video games that included “Madden 20,” “FIFA 20” and “NBA 2K20.” And top-selling electronics included Fire TV, Airpods and Samsung TVs.

Adobe said in its report that smaller businesses saw success with revenue more than doubling on Saturday compared to an average day last month.

The data showed revenue share trend also shifted. Smaller retailers saw 10% higher revenue share coming from smartphones compared to e-commerce giants. Large retailers continued to be more effective at converting on smartphones, with 43% better conversion rates, seeing almost triple the revenue when compared to an average day in October. Season to date, small retailers have seen a 30% increase in online sales on average, versus 66% for large retailers.

The early hours of Super Sunday have seen $220 million in online spend, which is 21.3% growth year-over-year and the day is on track to surpass the $4 billion mark for the first time ever, according to Adobe Analytics data.

Looking ahead, Adobe is forecasting that Cyber Monday will set a new record with $9.4 billion in sales, an 18.9% increase year-over-year. Cyber Monday is also expected to be the biggest sales day for small business merchants.

Cyber Monday will be the day to buy TVs, with a predicted discount of 19%, Adobe said in the report.

“Small Business Saturday posted a record breaking $3.6 billion that was fueled by strong gains from both large and small retailers, alike,” Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe, said in the report. “The weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is emerging as a truly lucrative period for online commerce. With a projected $7.6 billion generated over Small Business Saturday and Super Sunday, consumers are taking advantage of post-Black Friday deals and are accelerating spend in the run-up to Cyber Monday.”


News
Huntington Elks remember past members during memorial service

HUNTINGTON — U.S. Marine retired and Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams spoke about sacrifice at the Huntington Elks Lodge No. 313’s annual memorial service Sunday afternoon at its new location in the 2000 block of 3rd Avenue.

“It’s the sacrifices of others that have made is possible for us to be who we are, where we are and doing what we are able to do in this country,” Williams said. “It is proper that we remember these Elks members who have passed away and all the sacrifices they made for their community.”

Dan Goheen, the current Exalted Ruler of the Huntington Elks Lodge, said the annual memorial service is an important event.

“We take this time to remember all of our deceased members, but especially those who have passed since our last memorial,” he said. “We have this event every year on the first Sunday in December.”

Those remembered during the ceremony included Past Exalted Rulers Robert Carpenter and Robert Freddy Duncan, as well as members Dr. Edward M. Burkhardt, Joseph A. Macri, David Cohen, James Turner, Jack Clark Eblin and Charles D. Cade.

During the service, Williams also spoke about the American flag.

“The flag has been one of the foundations of the Elks club,” Williams said. “They have had flag day ceremonies for many years, and I have been involved in several of them.”

Williams is also a new member of the lodge.

“I was asked to join and accepted,” Williams said. “It is truly and honor. I think the Elks are one of the most patriotic groups that we hear very little about.”

Goheen said the Elks is a major organization with more than 1,800 lodges across the country with 1.7 million members.

“We are the largest scholarship givers in the United States next to the U.S. government,” Goheen said.

For more information on the Huntington Elks Lodge No. 313, visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/290259730547/.


News
Ronald McDonald House hosts annual Light the House that Love Built event

HUNTINGTON — She didn’t plan on having her baby in Huntington, but when McDowell County native Brittany Mitchell was diagnosed with a high-risk pregnancy that threatened her unborn daughter’s life, she said it was a blessing to come to the Ronald McDonald House.

“The doctors back home sent me here to Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, and I have been staying at the Ronald McDonald House since I was 8-and-a-half weeks pregnant,” said Mitchell, who is 22 years old and now 6 months pregnant. “With three other children, I wouldn’t have been able to travel back and forth from McDowell County to here. My unborn daughter probably wouldn’t be alive now, if it wasn’t for the Ronald McDonald House in Huntington.”

On Sunday, Mitchell joined several other families and guests for the annual Light the House that Love Built. The event is an open house for the public to come, tour the building and see who the house helps. Many former residents returned for the fun.

“It feels like having Christmas at home with your family,” Mitchell said.

The event also included kid-friendly refreshments, caroling and all the children channeled their magic to help illuminate the holiday lights on the house.

“This event is held annually as a way to raise visibility of the need to keep families together while a child is receiving treatment in the hospital,” said Jaye Toler, director of development at the house.

Toler says it’s a wonderful time to spend Christmas with families staying at the house and also for those that have stayed in the past.

“So many families will spend Christmas with us,” Toler said. “We have one family here tonight that has come back every year for the past 15 years. Their children are teenagers now. For the staff, this is just such a heart-warming time of the year.”

The event featured Santa, who took several requests from children for presents on Christmas.

Toler said the Ronald McDonald House is for families with a sick child, as well as for high-risk pregnancy patients like Mitchell.

“Cancer used to be treated inpatient, but now chemotherapy is outpatient, so the doctor may say you can’t go home because home is 45 minutes or longer away, but you can stay at the Ronald McDonald House,” Toler said. “We provide them with a hotel-style bedroom that has its own bathroom. We have four kitchens, a media room, a library, a playroom, a playground and more.”

Since it first opened its doors just behind Cabell Huntington Hospital in September 1987, its mission has been to serve as a home away from home for families suffering through the midst of some of the toughest trials of their lives, many traveling hours away for treatment, as the child remains hospitalized just next door.

“This place is open every day of the year, every hour of the day,” she said. “It’s all about the children and families.”

The Huntington house is the largest Ronald McDonald House in West Virginia and can sleep up to 20 families a night.

While McDonald’s funds approximately 38 percent of the Huntington house’s $650,000 annual operation budget, the house must rely on grants, donations and fundraisers for the remaining 62 percent — or just more than $400,000 each year.

“We have a volunteer coordinator, so you can come in and cook a meal for a family, or you can come in and help us clean. You can donate food and other stuff that would help our families and children,” she said. “And of course we need monetary donations as well. We are not federally funded or United Way funded, so without the support of the community, we would not be able to make it.”

The Huntington Ronald McDonald House is located at 1500 17th St. in Huntington, just behind Cabell Huntington Hospital. For more information on how to donate or get involved, visit rmhchuntington.org or call 304-529-1122.