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Survey reveals only 53% traded over the Internet in 2000

London, UK, 26 January, 2001 - Only 53 per cent of retail companies in the Times Top 1000 companies traded electronically using Internet technology in 2000, according to research published by e-business consultancy, Rubus.

The survey, conducted by research firm ICM in December 2000 on behalf of Rubus, found that whilst 94 per cent of retail respondents acknowledged the importance of an effective online presence or using Internet technology to meet their business objectives and for success, only 19 per cent have developed a formalised e-business plan for the year of 2001 to help them achieve it. What is more, 65 per cent admitted the biggest challenges to successfully implementing their online plans were other business matters taking priority, lack of in house IT skills and lack of board level support.

Michael Walton, CEO at Rubus said, "The results are especially surprising given that Bricks & Mortar retailers have a lot to gain by leveraging their trusted brands across new channels. It seems that whilst retailers recognise the potential benefits that e-business will bring to their commercial operations, and are keen to invest in it, they are failing to properly plan for it. It is a clear indication that the decision to get online is not being met with the appropriate strategies to get it right, which will inevitably mean that the investment they make may well not give them the returns they expect. In a broader sense, a lack of properly implemented online strategies will certainly damage the UK retail industry."

Less than half of retail organisations surveyed employed a dedicated head of e-commerce or e-business, despite the fact that 82 per cent stated their intention to exploit new interactive channels this year, such as interactive TV and mobile applications. The research shows a marked contrast between business intention and ability to execute.

"The success of interactive projects lies in commitment at all levels of the organisation, as well as proper planning and correct execution. Incorporating e-business into company initiatives is increasingly critical for ongoing success in what is now a global economy. If the UK is to maintain its strong market position, retailers cannot afford to be complacent about how they go about running these initiatives," concluded Walton.


About Rubus

Rubus, based in London, Bracknell and Manchester, is an 'Interactive Architect. It specialises in helping companies exploit interactive channels, including the Web, interactive TV and mobile communications.

Services span strategy definition, creative and technical design, and systems development and integration. The company works with clients to develop ideas and strategies for exploiting interactive channels, helping them pursue their goals and translate these into creatively designed, technically robust, marketable and value-adding e-business solutions. Its aim is to do help them do this quickly, reliably and right first time.

Through relationships with product vendors such as ATG, Autonomy, BEA, INTERSHOP, Interwoven, Oracle, SUN, Tridion, Verity and Versata, Rubus is able to provide its customers with solutions that take advantage of the latest in interactive technology. Clients include B&Q, Waterstone's, Thomascook.com, Granada Media, ONdigital, Nomura, Cazenove, IPC, Barkers Norman Broadbent, Confetti.co.uk, Lastminute.com and E W Blanch.

Rubus can be reached on the Web at: http://www.rubus.com

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