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Cyber Monday shifting to mobile devices

Americans are holding out for “Cyber Monday” deals and more consumers than ever say they’ll be shopping with their mobile devices, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

About 141 million people went shopping from Thanksgiving through Sunday and spent more than $57 billion, but NRF found that another 131 million consumers are waiting for online promotions set for Monday.

Of those, nearly 25 million are expected to use smartphones and tablets to peruse the promotions – a 22-percent increase over last year and a 570-percent increase over 2009’s 3.7 million mobile shoppers.

Retailers knew from the beginning of the season that “they were going to save things only for Cyber Monday” to make for exclusive shopping and “add value” for consumers, said Matthew Shay, NRF’s president and chief executive, in a conference call on Sunday.

Eight in 10 online retailers will offer Cyber Monday-specific deals, according to the group.

NRF and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) are the two trade groups that represent the millions of retailers across the United States. RILA, for example, counts companies such as Crate & Barrel, Target, Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart and Costco as members.

“Retail industry is a proxy for the overall economy. That's the reason that Black Friday sales, in general terms, is important,” Shay told reporters.

This year, however, the holiday shopping season is about six days shorter. This adds a hurdle to retailers, who are trying to overcome stagnant economic growth and relatively low consumer confidence.

NRF also found that about one-in-four consumers has been shopping for holiday gifts throughout the year.

“[Consumers] don't care how they shop, they just know that when they want a particular item at a particular value, they want to get it,” Shay said, adding that retailers have been brainstorming on how best to maintain a connection to the budget-conscious consumer.

“Online is a bright spot,” he said.