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Cyber Monday forecast to break record

Nov. 28, 2011 at 4:00 AM

NEW YORK, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Cyber Monday sales will likely set a record, analysts say, after a Thanksgiving weekend when a record 226 million U.S. shoppers spent $52 billion.

The one-day shopping event created by companies to persuade people to shop online the Monday immediately following Black Friday, is projected to generate a record $1.2 billion this year, up from $1 billion in 2010, Internet marketing-research firm ComScore forecast.

More than half the adult U.S. population, or about 123 million people, plan to shop online from their office or home computers, the National Retail Federation trade group said.

Eight in 10 U.S. online retailers plan to offer promotions, the federation's Shop.org division reported.

Thirty-nine percent of U.S. consumers who shopped during the four-day Thanksgiving weekend said they intended to make purchases online Monday, up 2 percentage points from 2010, the PriceGrabber.com price-comparison service reported.

The upbeat forecasts followed Black Friday U.S. retail sales that rose 6.6 percent over the same day last year, totaling a record $11.4 billion, retail data and consulting firm ShopperTrak said.

The gains were the strongest since 2007 and topped last year's anemic 0.3 percent increase, ShopperTrak said.

Retail sales on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving Day in the United States, added up to $52 billion, up from last year's $45 billion, the retail federation said.

The average holiday shopper spent about $400 during the weekend, up from $365 last year.

The Thanksgiving weekend's online sales were up 24.3 percent from the year-ago period, IBM Corp.'s online data division Coremetrics reported.

Many online retailers planned to offer Cyber Monday deals during lunchtime to cater to office-based shoppers, retail federation spokeswoman Ellen Davis, who is credited with naming the day in 2005, told USA Today.

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