Westfield to build virtual shopping mall

Ten years after it scrapped its plans for online shopping, the retailing juggernaut Westfield is preparing to launch the country’s first virtual shopping centre.

It is not yet certain if retailers will pay rent on the site or if their inclusion will be covered by a sales commission. It is understood Westfield will not fulfil orders, leaving that to retailers.

Westfield declined to elaborate on the plans.

”It’s true to say there’s activity happening,” said a spokesman, Mark Ryan. ”The fact is that we continue to develop our internet technologies and our relationships with retailers.”

The move is an effort by the world’s largest listed retail group to capitalise on a growing online shopping trend in which consumers have drifted from bricks-and-mortar stores to online behemoths, often overseas, like Amazon.

Read more here http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/westfield-plots-online-assault-20100611-y0yl.html?autostart=1

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