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Tuesday, 31 October, 2000, 13:57 GMT
Kingfisher buys Streets Online
streets online logo
Retail giant Kingfisher is to buy a majority share in one of the UK's leading internet retailers.

The 15.7m deal will give Kingfisher an 85% share of Streets Online, the name behind online bookseller Alphabetstreet and music site Audiostreet.


Streets Online will benefit greatly from its close links with MVC and the buying strength of Kingfisher

Ian Cheshire, e-Kingfisher chief executive

Kingfisher, which owns high street giants Woolworths, Superdrug and Comet, plans to dovetail Streets Online with its MVC chain of music and video shops.

The retail giant claims Streets Online has had more than 300,000 customers since its launch in 1996.

"Bricks and clicks"

Streets Online, founded by e-entreprenuer Stephen Cole, was one of the pioneers of online retailing in the UK.

In addition to its retail websites, it also operates online magazine Streetwise and Xchange, a service for locating hard-to-find products.

Kingfisher claims Streets Online will have generated sales of about 10m in the six months to September 2000.

Ian Cheshire, chief executive of the retail giant's online arm e-Kingfisher, says: "The acquisition of Streets Online with its well-developed e-commerce infrastructure is another example of Kingfisher's 'bricks and clicks' strategy to offer customers multi-channel access to its products.

"Streets Online will benefit greatly from its close links with MVC and the buying strength of Kingfisher."

In September Kingfisher announced it plans to demerge its operations into two separate companies, one for DIY and electrical and one for general merchandise.

If the demerger goes ahead, Streets Online will become part of the General Merchandise company.

Martin Toogood, chief executive of General Merchandise, said: "The UK's music, video/DVD and games entertainment market is expected to grow by 8% each year to around 5.7bn in 2004.

"Around 17% of this market will come from e-commerce.

"The purchase of Streets Online will give General Merchandise a substantial share of the online market and will reinforce our position as one of the UK's leading entertainment retailers."

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