Verdict Retail, the analyst, has downplayed suggestions of a likely boom in electronic home shopping. Retail sales through television shopping channels or the Internet are growing, but are currently estimated to account for just one per cent of all home shopping, according to a Verdict report. It warns: “There is neither the technology nor the demand from the public at present to stimulate growth.”

EMAP Pursuit, the sports magazine publisher, has launched a football Website based on its soccer title

Match. (http: // aims to cover “every team, every game, and every goal scored in the UK – whether it’s by Manchester United, Glasgow Rangers or Rushden & Diamonds in the Vauxhall Conference”, says Terry Pratt, Match’s publishing director at EMAP Pursuit.

Barnes & Noble, the leading US bookseller, has confirmed it has signed up 40 online content providers to help promote its Web-based retail operation. It is aiming to match the sales success of Internet start-up, which is based in Oregan USA.

The number of Internet users in Japan is expected to rise from 4.6 million to 8 million during 1997, before surging to 33 million by 2001, according to international market research company Dataquest.

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