BT is looking to cash in on the national surge of interest in electronic shopping with the launch of a consultancy to help traditional UK retailers grab a slice of the country's #1 billion online shopping pie.
The telecoms giant has joined forces with the US professional services outfit USWeb/CKS to offer services, including strategic planning and technology design and implementation, to help retailers maximise their online presence.
High street clothing chain Next is the joint venture's first customer.
None of the parties involved would reveal the value of the deal. BT said it expects other businesses to sign up soon, as the challenge of fending off US Internet retailers intensifies.
A rapidly growing population of Net users and shoppers in the UK is also expected to provide a powerful incentive for chains to invest in online shopping technology.
- More Internet news, p32.
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