Monday 29th November is the day when all hell breaks loose – the busiest internet shopping day of the year. Office workers will be undoubtedly cramming some online purchases into their lunch hour with a total of £537m expected to be forked out on Christmas gifts.

In what is being dubbed ‘Manic Monday’, the British public will be spending up to £22.4m an hour, according to retail comparison website Kelkoo.

Visa Europe has suggested that purchases will soar between 1pm and 2pm, and again at around 7pm as shoppers log on after work. The payments company has found that 74% of consumers plan to buy presents online this Christmas, with 30% hoping to do more shopping on the internet than last year.

Retailer Argos said the reason for today’s rush was that it comes after the last pay day before Christmas but still allows time for delivery.

Spokesman Matt Roberts said: “The top sellers driving Manic Monday will be audio gadgets such as the iPod Touch and iPod Nano, Toy Story characters including Buzz Lightyear and Mr Potato Head, and the recently released video games Call of Duty: Black Ops and Gran Turismo 5.”

Ian Crook of Tesco.com, which carried out the research, said: “We’re expecting to ship more than 80,000 items today, as we face our busiest day of the year for online orders.

“This year, for the first time, we anticipate a significant amount of website orders to be placed by customers using their mobile phones, as more people do their Christmas shopping on the go to fit in around their busy lives.”

Avoiding the crowds was given as the biggest reason for turning to the internet, with 71% saying they cannot stand battling queues in the shops. 

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