Money
Manic Monday (8 December) tipped to be biggest-ever day for UK online retailReuters

Despite unprecedented anticipation from eager shoppers and retailers alike, Black Friday will not be the most popular UK shopping day of the year - instead, that title will go to Manic Monday on 8 December.

That is the claim made by information services company Experian and Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), the UK's industry association for online retail. They estimate that Britons will spend a staggering £676.5 million shopping online on Manic Monday, the second Monday of December, which is £470,000 per minute.

This compares to the £555.5m expected to be made in sales on Black Friday, which falls on 28 November this year, and £649.6m on Cyber Monday, the first Monday of December and the first working day after Black Friday.

Experian and IMRG expect traffic to online retailers to increase by 17% compared to Black Friday last year, while traffic on Cyber Monday and Manic Monday will increase by 26% on both dates compared to 2013.

James Miller, senior retail consultant at Experian, said: "Christmas 2014 is on track to be another record breaking year for online retail in the UK. Continuing a trend we identified last year, Cyber Monday will no longer be the busiest pre-Christmas online shopping day, with Manic Monday expected to take the lead."

Miller says increased consumer confidence is the reason for the later Manic Monday being most popular, as shoppers trust sites like Amazon and the postal services to get orders delivered in time for Christmas. Click and collect services, where shoppers order and pay online, but collect goods in a local store, are also expected to keep online spending high in the run-up to 25 December.

Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, said: "The US phenomenon of Black Friday is now firmly embedded in the UK e-retail calendar and, while the first two weeks of December are traditionally the peak festive trading weeks for the online retail industry, Black Friday now marks the start of the online shopping season.

Spooner added that smartphones and tablets "are set to account for over half of all traffic to retail websites during the festive season, and on Black Friday alone online spending via mobile devices is set to reach over £196m."