Picture of the Day: Amazon's Christmas grotto

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The Independent Online

When shopping online today, spare a thought for the workers at Amazon's "fulfilment centre" in Swansea. The high point of Britain's internet Christmas spending spree – dubbed Manic Monday – will condemn staff at the website's warehouse to walk up to 10 miles per shift, helping to satisfy the booming taste for cyber retailing.

Nearly £540m is predicted to be spent on websites in the next 24 hours – an increase of 29 per cent on the busiest day for internet shopping last year. With sales now accounting for 17 per cent of the £57bn forecast to be spent on Christmas gifts, retail analysts said the combination of the ease of website shopping with consumers' desire to place orders with plenty of time to allow deliveries mean that today and next Monday were likely to see record of levels of trade for internet-based retailers.

Steve Perry, the commercial director of Visa Europe, which expects £265m to be spent on its own cards today, said: "The combination of monthly salaries being paid and people taking delivery times into consideration should deliver a record day. Consumers are increasingly comfortable buying goods on the internet and clearly recognise the convenience and greater choice often available."

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