Swedish catalogue companies migrate to the Web

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STOCKHOLM--Swedish mail order companies obtained 4% of their total orders via the Internet during the first quarter of 1999. This compares to just 1% in the same period in 1998.

The mail order company Ellos, which has annual sales of $150 million in Sweden, will make its entire product range available on its Web site in July, instead of just a selection of its merchandise.

Compared to the Swedish retail trade as a whole, the mail order firms are several steps ahead. However, e-commerce trading accountedfor just 0.2% of Swedish retail sales in 1998.

"It would be easy to exaggerate the speed of the shift to e-tradingby customers. I usually observe that, when television came, radio did not disappear," said Ellos Postorder CEO Tomas Persson.

Copyright July 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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