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Reuters to launch 24/7 retail Net op

Wades into retail swamp

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Reuters, the world's biggest news wholesaler, is getting into retail. It is pumping in £20 million into an own-brand 24/7 global news service, The Guardian reveals. Reuters research suggests "that there is demand among high-net-worth individuals for a readable, fast service that can provide 24-hour news", according to The Guardian, in a piece that bears all the hallmarks of a PR-engineered leak. This is fatuous stuff for the media pack -- Register research indicates there is no demand from anyone for an unreadable, slow service. And that didn't cost us a penny to find out. The Reuters retail site will link into all its original material and it's taking on 20 journalists dedicated to the site in the first stage of the operation. The company hasn't worked out all the details yet, The Guardian says. So let's make some educated guesses. The site will supply also personal finance news and advice, and at some stage, tie up with an online share-trading operation. Conflicts of interest means that Reuters risks losing some of its wholesale news customers. But this will be a small price to pay if it succeeds in establishing a successful retail site. The company has the muscle and the name to push into the online retail jungle. But does it have the flair? Reuters is not exactly noted for its retailing prowess. And besides, the Net space for Finance/News/Share Trades is looking increasingly crowded. Lined up against Reuters already are Motley Fool, which today received a $25 milllion VC injection, Raging Bull, Silicon Investor, TheStreet.com, and more traditional rivals like Bloomberg and FT.Com. ® For the latest "ker ching" on the Web tune into Cash Register and turn on to our daily Net Finance News.

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