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Cyber Monday set to become biggest online shopping day in US history

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Cyber Monday is set to become the biggest online shopping day ever for the United States, garnering up to $11.4bn as the coronavirus pandemic prompts consumers to stay home and turn to the internet for their holiday shopping needs.

The robust performance comes despite nearly two months of offers since Amazon held its Prime Day sales event in October, with retailers seeking to recoup business lost during this year’s Covid-19-driven closures of malls and stores.

Estimates from Adobe Analytics showed this year’s conclusion to Thanksgiving weekend promotions would come in between $10.8bn and $11.4bn. While that was down from an earlier estimate of as much as $12.7bn, it still easily surpasses this year’s Black Friday figure of $9bn, which was the strongest Black Friday online sales result to date, as well as last year’s Cyber Monday total of $9.4bn.

The robust retail sales come even as millions of Americans remain out of work because of the pandemic. For those who have transitioned to working from home the holiday season is here. Millions of others, meanwhile, are worrying about their rent and when, or if, Congress will act and release more stimulus money.

Those Americans who can afford to are likely to keep up the record-breaking spend, said Taylor Schreiner, the director of Adobe Digital Insights.

“While Covid-19, the elections and uncertainty around stimulus packages impacted consumer shopping behaviors and made this an unprecedented year in e-commerce, we expect to see continued, record-breaking e-commerce sales from now until Christmas,” Schreiner said in a statement.

Adobe said top-selling items included hoverboards, televisions from LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, Apple AirPods and watches and the Nintendo Switch.

Amazon, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the pandemic-induced shift away from physical stores, did not appear to have any major technical glitches during the day.

Bill Hon, 49, a cook in Crawfordsville, Indiana, said Amazon was still drawing his business despite offers from other firms.

“I go online a little bit and look around and do some comparison shopping, but Amazon pretty much beats everything,” he said.

Amazon alone has needed to add hundreds of thousands of staff to its rosters to meet demand for home delivery during the pandemic. Its third-quarter sales jumped 37% to $96.1bn.

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