In a league table dominated for years by Amazon and Argos there’s another company beginning with the letter ‘A’ racing for the top spot: Apple.

Since its inception in 2006 the top of the UK Hot Shops List has been topped by Amazon UK and Argos.

The third spot has been fought over by the likes of Play.com, Tesco and Next, but Amazon and Argos have never been displaced from the top two spots.

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However, catalogue giant Argos has dropped to third place in the third quarter of 2011 as tech titan Apple jumped a massive six places from eighth to second, according to Experian Hitwise.

UK Internet visits to the Apple website increased five-fold between August and October with Apple accounting for 1 in every 250 visits online in October 2011.

As well as the death of Apple co-founder and chairman Steve Jobs, the launch of the new iPhone 4S pushed UK Internet traffic to its highest ever levels for Apple with over 14 million visits in October 2011.

Other fast movers of the quarter in the Hot Shops List were ASDA Direct (up 23 places), Very.co.uk (+19), Ticketmaster (+16), H&M (+15) and Toys R Us (+15).

Ticketmaster rose to 20th position in the list thanks to announced comeback tours for Steps and the Stone Roses.

Top 10 UK Hot Shops online retailers

1. Amazon UK

2. Apple

3. Argos

4. Tesco

5. Next

6. M&S

7. Play.com

8. Amazon.com

9. John Lewis

10. Tesco Direct