Is today the most important Monday of the year?

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The Independent Online

Cyber Monday, Mega Monday; call it what you will, but retailers are gearing up for one of the busiest days of the year.

Data from the U.S. National Retail Federation estimates that nearly 100 million Americans will reach for their credit cards from behind a computer today, a rise of nearly 15 million from last year. Global online outlets such as Amazon have introduced special deals, with Visa Europe reportedly predicting that today will be the busiest shopping day of the year in the UK.

It is estimated that nine out of ten retailers in the U.S. have some sort of Cyber Monday deal, with the most popular promotions expected to be specific deals, one-day sales, or free shipping on all purchases.

"Online retailers have been working overtime to make sure their Cyber Monday promotions are enticing, so shoppers can expect incredible bargains on popular holiday items, percentages off entire websites, and a lot of free shipping," said Scott Silverman, Executive Director of, the digital division of the National Retail Federation.

Surveys have reported a broadly positive Thanksgiving weekend, with figures from digital analysts comScore suggesting that that Black Friday 2009 was the heaviest spending day online to date in the US, marking an 11% increase in sales from last year.

U.S. consumers spent $595m (€395m) on Friday November 27, a significant jump from last year's $534m (€355m). Overall, the holiday spending season from November 1-27 has seen a 3% rise from the same period in 2008.

Offline, the U.S. National Retail Federation estimated that 195 million Americans hit the stores over the weekend, a 13 percent rise on last year. However, consumers spent less, with the average amount per person dropping from $372.57 (€247.68) last year to $343.31 (€228.23) this year.

The Most-Visited Sites on Black Friday

1. Amazon Sites
2. Walmart
3. Worldwide Sites
4. Target Corporation
5. Best Buy Sites

Data provided by comScore