By Daniel Hunter

With just one month to go until Christmas, shoppers are forecast to spend over £1.3 billion on presents this weekend (Friday 28th — Monday 1st) in the UK, according to new research from RetailMeNot, the world’s largest digital offer marketplace and owner of VoucherCodes.co.uk.

The study, conducted by the Centre for Retail Research, predicts that Brits will spend £556 million on Cyber Monday (1st December), exceeding half a billion pounds for the first time.

Now in its ninth year, Cyber Monday has become big business in the US where the practice of staging flash sales online on the first Monday after Thanksgiving first originated. RetailMeNot’s research estimates that American shoppers will spend more than £1.3 billion on Cyber Monday, a rise of 16%, or £184 million, on 2013 figures. In the UK, sales are expected to increase by 11.4% or £57 million on last year.

The UK is by far the biggest market for Cyber Monday spending in Europe, but other countries are now beginning to embrace the shopping date. Cyber Monday spending is growing fastest in Spain and Italy, where sales are set to rise by 59.3% and 47.2% respectively this year. However, spending is expected to be highest in the UK (£556 million), followed by Germany (£250 million) and France (£194 million).

Giulio Montemagno, Senior Vice President of International at RetailMeNot, said: “Cyber Monday is getting bigger every year and this year looks set to be the biggest yet, with Brits predicted to spend £23.2 million an hour on Monday.

“With sales in the US now topping £1.3 billion on Cyber Monday alone, retailers elsewhere are vying for a piece of action and looking to capitalise on the shopping frenzy with short-term promotions and eye-catching deals. With retailers in Britain among the first in Europe to adopt Cyber Monday, the UK is now far ahead of other European countries with sales expected to exceed that of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands combined on 1st December.”

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