The online holiday shopping season is breaking records this year, as more and more buyers use a mouse—not the mall—to find the perfect gift for loved ones near and far. For hundreds of online retailers, the final days of the holiday season will be punctuated by today’s official celebration of “Free Shipping Day,” a consumer event that first appeared in 2008, helping remind procrastinating shoppers that the window for holiday deals with no-charge deliveries was coming to a close. “Free Shipping Day” drove more than $1 billion in web-based retail sales in 2011. Online shopping is setting records—totaling more than $29.3 billion in the 2012 holiday season to-date and a 13 percent increase versus the corresponding days last year, according to comScore. FedEx Ground, with its FedEx Home Delivery and FedEx SmartPost services, helps web-based retailers swiftly and cost-effectively deliver millions of gifts in time for the holidays. To celebrate the continued growth of the holiday season at FedEx Ground, team members from around the New York area will ring the NYSE opening bell today. “We’re very proud of the people across the entire FedEx network making the holidays happen. Their commitment and efforts are ensuring we seamlessly deliver Christmas during our busiest season ever,” said Dave Rebholz, president and CEO, FedEx Ground. “We are especially proud of our team members in the New York area who have shown tremendous resolve in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and we are pleased that many of them could be a part of today’s bell-ringing.” FedEx Ground and FedEx SmartPost are major enablers of the free shipping offers touted by e-tailers during the holidays and all year round. With several studies confirming that the cost of shipping can weigh on a shopper’s decision to purchase online or in-store, “Free Shipping Day” drove sizable results in its first year and has continued to grow, now encompassing special deals from more than 1,000 web-based retailers.