What happened

Shares of Amazon (AMZN 0.83%) were rising 2% Monday morning, on hopes Cyber Monday might fare better than Black Friday sales did.

Because retailers began offering "Black Friday" sale prices early in the month, the need to shop on the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season was muted. For the first time ever since such spending was tracked, Black Friday sales fell year over year.

A crowd of shoppers.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

According to Adobe, consumers spent $8.9 million last Friday, or slightly below the record $9 billion spent last year, with another $5.1 billion spent on Thanksgiving Day. Adobe predicts there will be some $10 billion today when e-commerce retailers unleash their own sales.

Hanging over the entire Christmas shopping season is the threat the omicron variant of COVID-19 will have on spending. Amazon executives told Reuters it was too early to predict how it will play out, though right now consumers were continuing on as they have.

Now what

Consumers busted out their wallets last year for Christmas in response to the lockdowns that had been in place for most of the year due to the pandemic. The urgency to spend isn't as great in 2021, and as noted retailers have been coaxing consumers to spend earlier in hopes of having a very green holiday.

Amazon also announced it would be opening a fulfillment center in Abu Dhabi in 2024 in partnership with the government's Abu Dhabi Investment Office. 

The e-commerce giant is also trying to have a merger between two Indian rivals nullified saying the deal's approval was based on misleading information provided to the regulator.