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BUSINESS SHORTS

2006 saw record jump in online shopping

RETAILERS trading on the internet reported record increases in their sales for last year, growing by as much as tens of percents.

Analysts ascribe the boom to the increasing number of people connected to the internet and the wider range of goods and services on offer, the Pravda daily reported.

Around one-third of Slovak households are now connected to the internet.

"Slovaks are beginning to trust purchases made over the internet as they have good experience with it," said Ľubomír Drahovský, an analyst with the Terno market research agency. "Goods sold over the internet are cheaper by as much as 50 percent."

The agency estimated that the number of people regularly purchasing goods on the internet grew by about one-fifth to more than 100,000 people across the country.

CDs, DVDs and books are the most frequently purchased items.

"Compared to 2005, last year's sales rose by 96 percent to Sk216 million (€6.74 million). In the first three months of 2007 alone, sales rose by 70 percent year-on-year," said Tomáš Richter of online retailer Hej, which sells electronics, CDsetics and package tours.

A spokesperson for electronic appliance retailer Nay, Tatiana Onderková, reported a 50-percent increase in internet sales for each of the last three years.

Martinus, which sell books over the internet, saw its sales rise last year by 180 percent to Sk35 million.

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