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Cyber Monday 2011 Sets Shopping Record

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- The retail sector has been toasting its victory these past few days after Black Friday spending rose by 7% from last year. But that better-than-expected increase doesn't even come close to matching the bump that online retailers saw on Cyber Monday.

ComScore, which tracks Internet data, announced late Tuesday that total sales on Cyber Monday -- online retail's answer to Black Friday -- rose a whopping 22% from last year. According to the company, online sales totaled $1.3 billion on Monday, up from slightly more than $1 billion on Cyber Monday 2010, to mark the biggest day for online shopping in U.S. history.

Online shoppers spent more than a billion dollars on the designated e-commerce day.

To be fair, that total can't touch the approximately $11.4 billion shoppers spent on Black Friday, suggesting that bricks-and-mortar doorbusters still rule on the traditional kick-off to the holiday spending season. Included in that number, it should be noted, is $816 million shoppers spent on online sales on Black Friday, according to ComScore, with an additional $479 million spent online on Thanksgiving Day itself.

Still, that 22% increase on Cyber Monday is a significant indicator of a larger trend: Online retail sales have grown by leaps and bounds recently. While online spending stagnated along with the rest of the economy during the recession, it saw huge gains in 2010. And in the first four weeks of November, online sales totaled more than $15 billion, an increase of 15% from the same period in 2010, according to comScore.

Cyber Monday still has a long way to go before it catches up to Black Friday. But given how sales have grown since Cyber Monday's inception in 2005, it's clear it will continue to close the gap in the years to come.

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