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'Trinity of Fears' is pushing entrepreneurs to the web instead of the high
street

Hi-res photographs at www.actinic.co.uk/press/library.htm

London, 26 August 2003 - According to new research* commissioned by
ecommerce software developer Actinic, there is a "trinity of fear" making
Britain's next generation of retailers too scared to start up new
businesses on the high street and pushing them towards the web.

Aspiring Richard Bransons and Anita Roddicks cite three major issues that
are stopping them from taking the plunge:

* Fear of robbery, assault and other crime (cited by 61% of respondents)

* Lack of funds (cited by 51% of respondents)

* Not attracting enough customers (cited by 31% of respondents)

As a result, potential entrepreneurs find the web more attractive: 68% of
would-be retailers say they would sell online if they had the necessary
technical support. UK shoppers spent £8.8 billion (1) online in the 12
months to July 2003.

"The trinity of retailing fears - crime, cash and customers - is holding
back Britain's retail entrepreneurs. But selling online eradicates the
danger of physical crime because there is no shop to raid or physical stock
to shoplift," says Chris Barling, chief executive officer of Actinic, which
powers over 10,000 transactional websites. "And of course starting an
online shop is far quicker and cheaper than opening a high street store and
can reach far more customers on a global scale.

"Britons are more than ready to make a success of online retail, as Martha
Lane-Fox has proven with lastminute.com. Compare the growth of that company
to, say, Thomas Cook which had no choice but to take decades growing a high
street presence."

The research also shows that Britain remains a 'nation of shopkeepers',
with running a retail business the most popular new business idea:

* 4 in 10 would-be entrepreneurs want to set up a retail business;

* 12% would go for professional services (accountancy firm, legal practice
etc);

* 6% opted for a manufacturing company;

* 4% would start a health clinic (dentist, chiropodist etc);

* 4% cited a café, sandwich shop or coffee bar.

What would-be retail entrepreneurs want to sell online

Goods

Gifts 18%
Clothes 18%
Food 14%
Hobby goods 11%
(comics, model kits etc)
Leisure equipment 4%
(bikes, camping etc)
Other 35%
(including books, pet shop, computer equipment, garden goods, educational
goods, music and electrical)

* The research, conducted by Ipsos, was a survey of 1000 UK citizens over
the age of 25. Use of research figures to be attributed to Actinic Software.

For further comment, contact:
Chris Barling, Actinic Software. Tel: 0845 129 4800, cbarling@actinic.co.uk.

Actinic's PR: Jane Lee, Dexterity. Tel 01273 470199, jane.lee@dexterity.co.uk

About Actinic Software Ltd
Actinic powers more UK ecommerce sites than any other company. Search for
'acatalog' on Google to see the vast range of online stores that run using
Actinic.

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. Research shows that over 50% of SMEs using packaged software to
run their e-stores use Actinic. Some of Actinic's better known UK users
include the Royal Opera House, Lloyds of London, Focus Do-it-All, Robert
Dyas, the Royal Navy and Help the Aged. Visit www.actinic.co.uk

Trademarks: Actinic Catalog is a registered trademark of Actinic Software
Limited.

1 - Source: Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG)


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