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An inside look at top retailers and the consumers they covet

Cyber Monday deals from Twin Cities retailers from Haskell's to Target

The deals aren't letting up on Cyber Monday even after a record setting Black Friday. Black Friday's online sales were up 20% to $7.4 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. 

On Cyber Monday 2019 sales are also expected to increase 20% to $9.4 billion. 

With so many deals out there, don't forget the ones from your local retailers and restaurants. 

Haskell's wine and spirits offers 20% off all gift cards of any denomination. Cards can be ordered online and then picked up in the store of your choice or mailed free. For an even better deal, wait until a Haskell's sale to redeem the card or take in a current a print ad and ask for a price match. Few liquor stores in the Twin Cities price match, but Haskell's does. 

Lauren Van Scoy of Essence One, a local soaps and scents retailer who's had great success at the Minnesota State Fair, Rosedale and Mall of America with her natural and organic line of aromatherapy, discounts everything 30% on her site with code EOMON30. Free shipping on orders over $75. 

Twin Cities-founded Buca di Beppo restaurants are offering a gift card discount today. Spend $50 and get two $10 gift cards free. Couple them with the many coupons available (get on the email list) and it's a great deal.

Prank Boxes are a Twin Cities-created novelty that can make any Christmas a lot more fun. The Eden Prairie-based company Pranko sells boxes with beautiful photos showing the prank product such as Cargo Socks with storage pockets for credit cards and keys, Crib Dribbler to keep baby as hydrated as a hamster while you're away, and the Pet Virtual Reality headset to keep cats or dogs entertained for hours. Each of the fake boxes ($7) looks like an "As-Seen -On-TV" product on the box. Save 20% with CYBERMONDAY code.

Sol Organics, an Edina-based textile importer, offers excellent quality 100% organic cotton sheets and towels. Get 35% off today using code MONDAY19. Their showroom is connected to Sleep Sherpa in Edina, which displays many of the online mattress brands such as Nectar, Tuft and Needle and Purple. Unfortunately, no online specials at Sherpa since it's a showroom. 

Minneapolis-based Target is local too, so they make the list. Target isn't doing its 15% off nearly everything site-wide sale this year but is offering a variety of specials. The 7th generation 10.2' iPad is $100 off, select headphones 50% off, $100 off videogame consoles, $50 off Fitbit Versa 2 and a 6-quart, 7-1 Instant Pot Duo for $49.95. 

We'll probably never see Richfield-based Best Buy offering 15% site wide, since electronics profit margins are low, but the electronics retailers has deals today on TVs, laptops, and gaming consoles.

Costco's website outages on Thanksgiving continue into Black Friday

In the lulls between bites, fumbles and family squabbles, millions of Americans shopped online on Thanksgiving, including at Costco.com. The warehouse club's website was down for more than 16 hours Thursday, according to outage tracking website Down Detector. Users may have seen an onsite message, "The website is experiencing longer than average wait times."

Costco tried to make things right by extending the Thanksgiving Day deals into Black Friday, but intermittent outages followed some consumers on Friday as well. Some of the Thanksgiving Day-only online specials included $700 off an LG refrigerator, a 70-inch Vizio 4K Smart TV for $550 with free shipping, Gloria Vanderbilt jeans for $10, and a patio heater for $100 with free shipping. 

The estimated cost in loss of sales yesterday is about $11 million, according to Lovethesales.com. The retail aggregate, which works with more than 1,000 retailers, estimated that the downtime impacted 2.65 million consumers. Overall online sales total about $4 billion on Thanksgiving, according to Adobe Analytics.  

Costco wasn't the only site frustrating Thanksgiving Day shoppers. H & M's site also had a few relatively short outages on Thursday and Friday morning. Nordstrom Rack and Home Depot online customers also experienced "slow load times" according to Catchpoint digital experience monitoring. 

Other major retailers have experienced web issues around Black Friday or Cyber Monday in past years, including Best Buy, Target and Macy's.