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Time to flog some sports kit

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Boo.com, the online shopping service for slaves to sports fashion, has launched in seven countries.

The company, which saw its launch date delayed by five months due to software problems, has secured substantial financial muscle for a European start-up. It is already worth more than £125 million, according to today's FT.

Investors include the Benetton family and investment bank Goldman Sachs. Boo, which was yesterday launched simultaneously in seven countries including the UK, US, Germany and France, allows e-shoppers to browse for the latest hip sports items. Anything from a peach-fuzz basketball dress to a three-tone Lighthouse Bucket - that's a sun hat to you and me - can be found online. And the site is designed to be as funky as its users - 3D images of the items can be spun round, zoomed into or modelled on screen.

However, a representative of Boo.com said the company would not be a discounter. "Our clients have given us products to sell at their prices. Europe has specific set prices for items, as opposed to the US," she said.

The company said it was aiming at customers who wanted to keep up with the latest sportswear fashion, but who were without access to the necessary shops. "Imagine if you are sitting in some suburb in Iowa, and you want the latest acupuncture kit. It's a matter of ease. You don't have to go to the high street and we are offering products which are hard to find in most areas," the representative added.

Boo has 350 staff worldwide and 330,000 registered users. ®

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