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Busiest day for online retailers predicted

Busiest day for online retailers predicted

Category: Credit cards

Updated: 07/12/2009
First Published: 07/12/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
Online spending is set to top £350 million by UK consumers today on the busiest internet shopping day of the year – dubbed 'Cyber Monday'.

Online retailers are braced for orders totalling millions of pounds, with the busiest hour predicted to be between 1pm and 2pm, a time when many people are likely to make Christmas orders from their place of work.

The worth of the orders is expected to dwarf the most profitable day in 2008, when £320 million was spent.

Online spending still only accounts for four per cent of total retail sales, reflecting a sizeable distrust of buying goods on the internet. A third of internet users prefer not to shop online, the Office of Fair Trading said earlier this year.

And with the run up to Christmas now in full swing, the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) has advised shoppers not to spend beyond their means this month.

Figures released by the association have revealed that the average consumer spent 11 per cent more on credit cards and 25 per cent more on store cards last December than they did in the other 11 months of 2008.

Consumers have been advised to make a strict budget when buying gifts and stick to it, as well as using cash and debit cards as much as possible.

"Every year, demand for our helpline increases in January and February as Christmas spending proves the straw that breaks the camel's back," commented Malcolm Hurlston, chairman of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service.

"Making a budget for Christmas is good financial sense, especially if money is tight. Make sure you're not haunted by the ghost of Christmas credit."

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