Cyber Monday poised to mark record for U.S. online retail sales

Amazon workers perform their jobs inside of an Amazon fulfillment center on Cyber Monday in Robbinsville, New Jersey

By Aishwarya Venugopal

(Reuters) - Cyber Monday was set to become the biggest online shopping day ever for the United States, garnering up to $11.4 billion as the coronavirus pandemic prompts consumers to stay at home and turn to the internet for their holiday shopping needs.

The robust performance comes despite nearly two months of offers since Inc held its Prime Day sales event in October, with retailers seeking to recoup business lost during this year's COVID-19-driven closures of malls and stores.

Estimates from Adobe Analytics showed this year's conclusion to Thanksgiving weekend promotions would come in between $10.8 billion and $11.4 billion.

While that was down from an earlier estimate of as much as $12.7 billion, it still easily surpasses this year's Black Friday figure of $9 billion, which was the strongest Black Friday online sales result to date, as well as last year's Cyber Monday total of $9.4 billion.

Consumers are likely to keep up that spending too, said Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights.

"While COVID-19, the elections and uncertainty around stimulus packages impacted consumer shopping behaviors and made this an unprecedented year in e-commerce, we expect to see continued, record-breaking e-commerce sales from now until Christmas," Schreiner said in a statement.

Adobe said top-selling items included hoverboards, televisions from LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, Apple Inc's AirPods and watches and the Nintendo Switch.

Amazon, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the pandemic-induced shift away from physical stores, did not appear to have any major technical glitches during the day.

Bill Hon, 49, a cook in Crawfordsville, Indiana, said Amazon was still drawing his business despite offers from other firms.

"I go online a little bit and look around and do some comparison shopping, but Amazon pretty much beats everything," he said.

Amazon alone has needed to add hundreds of thousands of staff to its rosters to meet demand for home delivery during the pandemic. Its third-quarter sales jumped 37% to $96.1 billion.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Melissa Fares and Jeffrey Dastin; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)