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The UK's etailers witnessed a massive spike in traffic in the run-up to Christmas registering yet another busy festive season.

Xmas 2004 saw the strongest ever performance for the UK's etailers with online retailers experiencing a 23 per cent surge in traffic compared to the previous year, Hitwise, a compiler of website league tables.

The busiest week was at the beginning of December as online shoppers looked to beat the Christmas crowds and avoid the last-minute pre-holiday rush by searching for the best deals and making gift purchases online.

Amazon, eBay, Kelkoo and Argos were among the most popular websites as well as the ecommerce outfits of high street computer and electronics stores.

The Hitwise figures provide further evidence that etailers have once again enjoyed a bumper Xmas. Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) found that half of the UK population shopped online this Chrimbo, spending more than £3bn - up 20 per cent on last year. ®

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