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3 January 2003 ~ While the signs seem to be that traditional High Street
retailers experienced a flat Christmas, Actinic's investigations show that
early indicators are that November and December 2002 was a bumper season
for many ecommerce stores.

Actinic, who provide the technology for powering more UK online stores than
any other company, asked a sample of its retailers (who had been trading
online for at least a year) for flash sales figures for the Christmas
period. "We thought that things would be positive, but the results exceeded
our most optimistic forecast," says Chris Barling, CEO of Actinic. "The
results were really quite amazing with an average 66% increase in
year-on-year online sales. This suggests that the dot-com mania of a few
years back had more of a problem with timing than being fundamentally
wrong. There's a spooky parallel to the railway mania of the nineteenth
century where the majority of miles of track was built after the railway
bubble burst."

Some of the stores that experienced year on year growth include:

* Snowlines, who sell snow sports equipment and fishing tackle
(, with a growth of 50%.

* Anything Left-Handed, suppliers of items adapted for left-handers
(, with a 125% increase.

* The Gentlemans Shop, who specialise in men's grooming accessories
(, growing by 121%.

* E. Botham & Sons, selling hampers (, with turnover up 12%.

* AmpleBosom, offering lingerie for larger ladies (,
with Christmas sales up 20%.

Colin McPhail of Snowlines had these comments: "Reduced consumer confidence
resulted in a lower footfall within the high street store this Christmas,
but our online channel has more than made up the shortfall so that we are
still on target to exceed last year's turnover. Once again the effort of
running an online store alongside the main shop has proved its
worth. There is an obvious pattern emerging in which multi-channel shops
are now playing a major role in shaping the retailers of the future."

The average growth figures exclude Medisave, suppliers of healthcare
products (, who saw a massive 400% increase in sales
online from a low point in 2001.

For further comment, contact:

Chris Barling, Actinic Software. Tel 01932 871018 or 07971 191859,

Actinic PR: Jane Lee, Dexterity. Tel 01273 470199,

About Actinic Software Ltd.:

Actinic power more UK ecommerce sites than any other company. Search for
"acatalog" in Google to see the vast range of online stores that run using

Founded in 1996, Actinic specialises in developing PC-based ecommerce
software for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that want to sell
online. Actinic is a key partner in the DTI's UK online for business
programme. Some of Actinic's better known UK users include the Royal Opera
House, London Symphony Orchestra, Lloyds of London, Focus Do-it-All, Robert
Dyas, the Royal Navy and Help the Aged.


This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Dexterity in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit