December 2, 2003, 12:00 AM’s Thanksgiving weekend sales soar 156% over last year

Over three days, Overstock’s online sales at $6.4 million nearly tripled last year’s $2.5 million. Aggressive book discounts, category and assortment expansion and a TV ad campaign contribute to the lift.’s Thanksgiving weekend sales were a record $6.4 million, a 156% gain over the $2.5 million in business to consumer sales it recorded last year during the same three-day period, the company reports.

The weekend holiday shopping lift comes in the midst of a national TV advertising campaign that the online discount store has been running in prime time, during televised sports events, and other TV outlets since the fall. Although an estimated two-thirds of Overstock’s shoppers are women, the most recent iteration of the ad is more male oriented than the original version, which supports aggressive discounting in the book category and moves into travel and men’s designer apparel that would be of interest to male as well as female consumers, the company says.

“We’ll test the new ad to see if it increases Overstock’s awareness among male consumers as well as increase our male customer base,” says a company spokesman. Overstock also attributes the weekend’s year-over-year growth to its customer service and low flat-rate shipping.

While pleased with the weekend’s sales, CEO Patrick Byrne cautions that they are a snapshot in time and don’t necessarily indicate what growth over the entire fourth quarter will be. Nevertheless, he called the weekend “ a superb start to the holiday shopping season.”


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