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Harrods gambles on future

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Fourteen staff at Ready2Shop.com received redundancy pay-outs on Friday in a bid to cut costs at the fashion site. The outfit is now being run by a skeleton staff of just five people. The founders of the multimedia content company, Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine (above), said they would continue with their offline media activity.

In a statement, the founders said: "It's very frustrating that stock market sentiment makes it impossible to distinguish between great web sites which add value and understand the need to entertain people and those that simply mimic the consumer experience in other channels."

They added: "We don't blame anyone for what's happened, it's an issue of timing."

Reg fashion tip: With business sense like this, expect to see more dotcommers wearing black armbands.



Britain's biggest corner shop - Harrods - is opening an online casino to tease out even more cash of its punters. The store has teamed up with Gaming Internet plc to operate the casino under the Harrods brand name.



David Sanderson, Chief Executive of Gaming Internet , said: "Our operational expertise, the integrity of the Harrods brand and the anticipated quality of the customer base will, I am sure, make the Harrods Casino a good bet for success." Ah yes, but for whom?



Totalise, the ISP-cum-online car dealer-cum wannabe e-bank, joins AIM today, raising £2m in cash and - ominous phrase this "guaranteed bank facilities". In fact only £817,000 was in equity money, the rest is guaranteed by Dr. Peter Gregory, the company's founder. Totalise said it had sold £15 million worth of cars through its carsTotalise operation. It is also keen to develop an online bank - but with a market cap of just £8.7m, it's difficult to see how.




Cambridge-based Net security outfit - nCipher plc - reported an operating loss of £2.2 million for the nine months to September 30 despite running up revenues of £9.1 million over the same period. In the last quarter the company completed its IPO on the London Stock Exchange, raising £100 million net of expenses.




Online Travel Corporation plc has acquired Viva Travel Dun Laoghaire Limited via wholly owned Irish subsidiary for IR £184,000 (UK£140,000) in cash and shares. Viva is a fully licensed travel agency based in Dublin and will change its trading name to the "Online Travel Company". ®



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