By Joseph Pisani, The Associated Press
Cyber Monday is still holding up as the biggest online shopping day of the year, even though the same deals have been available online for weeks and the name harks back to the days of dial-up modems.
Shoppers are expected to spend a record $9.4 billion on purchases made on their phones and computers Monday, up about 19% from last year’s Cyber Monday. That’s according to Adobe Analytics, which tracks transactions at 80 of the top 100 U.S. online stores.
The busiest time is expected to be in the hour before midnight, as people race to take advantage of discounts before they disappear.
Cyber Monday was created by retailers in 2005 to get people to shop online at a time when high-speed internet was rare and the iPhone didn’t exist.
Also on Monday, labor, environmental and digital privacy groups staging events around the globe to amplify their concerns about the world’s biggest online retailer.
At a first-ever Amazon Symposium in Brussels, activists discussed such issues as worker rights, antitrust laws and climate change. In a snowy New York, more than three dozen demonstrators rallied outside the Manhattan penthouse of Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos.
A group in San Bernardino plans to protest in the evening near an Amazon warehouse in the Inland Empire, a key logistics hub serving southern California.
The coordinated efforts seek to steer attention from the big Cyber Monday discounts Amazon is offering on voice-activated speakers and Nerf dart guns to issues like warehouse worker deaths and injuries, the environmental costs of fast delivery and the increasing amount of information tech companies gather about customers.
Compiled from Associated Press and Bloomberg reports.