What Is Green Monday?

Green Monday refers to one of the retail industry's most profitable days, occurring on the second Monday in December. Green Monday has gained notoriety because it represents the day many online shoppers rush to purchase last-minute gifts and take advantage of deals. eBay claims to have coined the phrase in 2007 after it realized its one of its most profitable sales days. However, some report that it was Shopping.com that coined the phrase. Despite its origin, this retail event continues to be a marker of holiday sales. 

Key Takeaways

  • Green Monday is the second Monday in December and one of the busiest retail shopping days in the United States.
  • eBay claims it created the phrase in 2007 after it realized that the most profitable sales day was the second Monday of that year, but Shopping.com claims that it coined the phrase.
  • The winter holiday season includes the year's most profitable retail sales days: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Green Monday.
  • Because of the high volume of online sales, Green Monday is also referred to as Cyber Monday 2.

Understanding Green Monday

Green Monday is promoted by big-box stores and online shopping giants like Amazon and Target. In 2016, Green Monday online sales reached an unprecedented $1.62 billion, according to Statista. 

Green Monday is also known as Cyber Monday 2 in retail circles due to the high volume of online shoppers seeking last-minute holiday deals. While some stores actively promote Green Monday, other retailers may simply offer holiday deals on that day to reach holiday shoppers and reduce merchandise before the end of the year. The "green" in Green Monday may have two references: green for dollars or environmentally green for those who consider online shopping a more eco-friendly endeavor than ratcheting up deals in brick-and-mortar stores. 

Green Monday vs. Black Friday

There is no shortage of catchphrases for the major retail shopping days that occur near the winter holidays. Black Friday describes the Friday after Thanksgiving when many people start their holiday shopping. Most people are off of work and are eager to spend money they've saved all year. Retailers capitalize on the busiest shopping day by offering special sales. Traditionally, sales were exclusive to the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Now some large retailers offer sales before Thanksgiving and for several days thereafter. Some are even attracting customers on Thanksgiving night with the chance to get Black Friday deals early. To gain consumer interest in an increasingly competitive landscape, most retailers advertise their sales before the event, luring shoppers to visit their establishments for deeply-discounted sales and giveaways. Black Friday has become a festive event in some places, with retailers offering gifts and prizes in a party-like atmosphere. Although not a federal holiday, some states recognize it as a holiday for its government employees.

Green Monday vs. Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday describes the Monday following Thanksgiving when online retailers offer above-average deals to entice consumers to shop online. It is like the Black Friday for online shoppers. Cyber Monday is now a global phenomenon, and in recent years, sales on that day have exceeded Black Friday sales. Cyber Monday retailers often simultaneously have Cyber Monday sales occurring at the same time as its Black Friday sales. This tactic targets all types of consumers, those who enjoy the hustle and bustle of Black Friday shopping and also those who prefer to use an online platform for purchases.