Retail conglomerate Baugur is preparing to launch an e-commerce platform for both its own high street brands and those of entrepreneur Tom Hunter.
Baugur, which acquired House of Fraser last November, is believed to have set a target for the platform to contribute a significant percentage of group sales by 2009.
The company has stakes in Hamleys, Iceland, Jane Norman, Mosaic Fashions, Mappin & Webb and MK One, as well as Woolworths, which recently installed an e-commerce system from ATG. Hunter owns D2, Office, Qube and USC.
James Roper, CEO of online retail trade body IMRG, said the task of building an e-commerce platform would be challenging. "It is much harder getting the human resource needed to do this properly... The people who have any experience in this marketplace have all been snapped up," he said.Baugur