YEAR IN REVIEW: e-tail evolution

YEAR IN REVIEW: e-tail evolution

Without doubt, the issue which dominated the IT retail industry this year has been the rise and fall of the pure-play e-tailing business model. The most recent example is that of dstore - long the darling of dot-com investors, which has been bought by South Australian bricks and mortar retailer Harris Scarfe. The evolution of the online retailing channel has seen many virtual companies team with established real-world firms to form multiple sales channels. A quick look at this year's headline, makes that obvious. And with vendors also jumping on the clicks and bricks bandwagon and establishing their own direct online stores, the threat of channel conflict has never been more pronounced.

The most spectacular e-tailing crash this year was suffered by, which lasted around six months in the Australian market. When the US e-tailing giant launched its local operations in May, industry players warned the company the Australian market would be a hard nut to crack. Steven Spilly - an e-tailer who has long touted the importance of turning a profit - remained the master of the understatement with his prediction: "I think they will encounter a few problems in the Australian market."

Retail highlights 2000

23/2: SA computer retailers shock ASIC Retail channel unable to produce financial statements29/3: Gerry Harvey warns e-tailersHarvey Norman boss takes a spray at e-tailing10/4: Wang urges retailer to integrate online effortsComputer Associates CEO urges more Web integration28/8: Gateway seeks retail therapy-David Jones receives stock in first mass merchant trial for consumer sales12/7: Fear not, Apple still loves youSeven of Apple's largest resellers form retail conglomerate26/7: Strathfield embarks on e-tail campaigne-tail dream of independent dot-com dominance dies for Pure e-tail under siege dstore turns to bricks and mortar and Asia for expansion, leaving cloud over its e-tail operations23/8: Harvey Norman online off the airRetail juggernaut turns attention to back end in effort to please franchisees online6/9: HN online scraps cardsRejigged e-tail site no longer accepts online payment11/10: Compaq finally Connects SydneyQ hoping to morph retail outlets into solution providers18/10: Software sales slump in wake of GSTFinancial titles responsible for negative market, say analysts25/10: IBM releases online direct modelBig blue gets Net sales house in order, tries to avoid channel blue15/11: Tandy's Smart e-commerce dealSmartbuy to provide e-commerce capabilities to retailer15/11: sinks into dot-com oblivione-tailers look to shaky future as nervous investors fuel further shakeout

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