Shops are braced for ‘busiest day of the year’

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THE HYSTERIA of Black Friday and Cyber Monday might be behind us, but experts predict the biggest shopping day of the year will be today.

Consumers are set to spend £676.5m today, dubbed “Manic Monday”, as retailers prepare for 151 million visits to their websites, according to data firm Experian and online retailing trade association IMRG.

They expect online traffic to be up by 26 per cent on the same day last year, with shoppers spending an average of £470,000 a minute.

In comparison, the two companies predicted consumers would spend £556m on Black Friday and £650m on Cyber Monday.

But consumers exceeded predictions, splurging on a shopping spree worth an estimated £810m on Black Friday and £720m on Cyber Monday.

Experts identified Manic Monday last year as the key online shopping date ahead of Christmas as consumers left their shopping later because of increased confidence in delivery networks and click-and-collect services to get gifts to them before the holidays.

It is also thought to be fuelled by the widespread use of mobile technology, while the Centre for Retail Research has suggested that the spending can be attributed to shoppers buying early out of fear that the items they want will sell out. The heavy discounting offered by retailers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday is not expected to be a feature of Manic Monday, but many more websites than usual are offering free delivery.

Retail consultant James Miller said: “Christmas 2014 is on track to be another record breaking year for online retail in the UK. Continuing a trend we identified last year, Cyber Monday will no longer be the busiest pre-Christmas online shopping day, with Manic Monday expected to take the lead.”