Look at it this way - December 2, 2011

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You may not know it but last Monday was no ordinary start to the week.

No, according to online retailers it was Mega Monday, the busiest day of the whole year for internet sales.

Plenty of us, this December will do all of our Christmas shopping on the web. Not good news for the ailing British high street and, according to chaps with calculators, we are spending online at a rate of more than £180,000 every minute.

That is pretty impressive for a nation in the painful grip of tough austerity measures and rising unemployment.

The good news for the high street is I probably won’t be doing all my shopping online.

That’s not, you understand, by choice, but because I’m about as organised, when it comes to gifts, as an Egyptian election.

I’m the king of the last minute shop, panic buying my way around the stores as if my life depended on it.

I was shocked the other day when My Good Wife informed me she had already sorted not only my present but gifts for all the children, the majority of her family and some people I haven’t even heard of, never mind met.

Of course, joining the wired-up (or wireless) masses, she’s done plenty of it online, only tempted into the shops by a value for money voucher or two.

If the smart shopper behaves like her then I guess the future of the high street store is in my hands – or the hands of blokes like me, whose shopping mantra involves being in and out in the shortest possible time. – no browsing here!

And, to that end, even I have turned to the web for salvation – hunting down the best possible prices before stepping out of the front door.

That’s the thing about these austere times – everyone’s after a bargain and, thanks to the internet, everyone knows where to find one.

Browsing the stores these days is more of an aspirational pleasure trip – unless you’re the sort with money to burn.

Shopping, well – that’s a military operation, planned months in advance and executed with the kind of precision which would have made Montgomery proud.

This year it was predicted more than £260m would be spent last Monday alone.

That’s one day – not even taking into account folks like me who leave it to the last minute before logging on or heading to the shops.

And with fancy mobile phone technology advancing at an incredible pace, the phenomenon can only grow.

Soon you won’t need to be at home to order those gifts, you could order from the train, or the pub or the loo.

Mega Monday it seems, can only get bigger.

Rob Stocks

n Jacqui Morley will return next week