Currently, a number of intrepid retailers are employing food and drink to coax customers into their physical stores, as sales increasingly go online. The historic seller J.C. Penney & Co. (NYSE:JCP) will soon offer coffee shops and juice bars, The Gap’s (NYSE:GPS) Banana Republic has already served cocktails to launch new clothing collections, and Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) has served lamb merquez and striped bass at its Terrain home-and- garden store located in Westport, Connecticut. Try as they might, all the online sellers can do along that line is to show photos of the drinks and dishes.
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According to data gathered from retailers like Best Buy Co. (NYSE:BBY) and Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) by Adobe Systems, Cyber Monday sales gained 17 percent to nearly $2 billion. Meanwhile, IBM research indicates that online sales among some of the largest domestic retailers was up by 30 percent.