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Clicks and Mortar department store

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3i is shelling out £10 million for a 20 per cent stake in new web retailer Jungle Online. Opening its virtual doors for business on August 18, Jungle Online is the latest wheeze of Steve Bennett, serial entrepreneur and boss of Software Warehouse, one of the UK’s most successful IT retailers/mail-order operations. Jungle Online will be more than a IT retailer – the operation is likened a department store selling everything from consumer electronics to wine and music. Everything will be transacted over the web, including post-sales service. But the company will be an example of what ecommerce gurus are now calling clicks and mortar operations. With Software Warehouse’s backing, Jungle Online will have the distribution infrastructure in place from day one. We found out about the new business last month, after picking up on gossip in the direct channel. Bennett, who we like, gave us some info about his web retailing plans, but asked us to lay off publication, until launch date. And for once, we agreed. Deal's now off -- the story -- sans financing details -- appeared on PC Dealer today, courtesy of "a source close to Bennett". ® Daily Net finance news from The Register

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