Web-based shopping set for massive UK growth

Research claims traditional retailers will lose out online

Total retail sales in Britain are set to hit a whopping £7.4 billion by 2004, according to shopping researchers Verdict. Although online sales will increase 12-fold in just five years, Verdict warns that this will only represent around three per cent of Britain's total spend. What's more, Verdict reckons most of the growth seen in dot-com sales will be at the expense of traditional retailers. According to Reuters, Richard Hyman, director of retailing consultancy Verdict Research, said: "There's a massive intellectual challenge here for many retailers." "They can't ignore it because some business is going to be done on the Internet. But on the other hand, it's potentially suicidal for them." However, The Register's verdict is that this research needs to be taken with a Christmas stocking-full of salt. How can they be taken seriously when they can't even email the press release over or make it available on the half-hearted excuse they call a Web site? ® More Net finance stuff at Cash Register

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