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Subject: UKNM: BarclaySquare - from bad to worse ?
From: Carl Christensen
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 16:27:40 +0100

BarclaySquare can't get the tenants, so they create some of their own

The latest site rejig at www.barclaysquare.com has some new tenants :-
On-line Hi Fi Store
2001 Domestic Appliances
Discount TV and Video

Hardly household names, and no wonder - they are all facades owned
entirely by Barclays

Are Barclays re-inventing their business model and becoming the
retailer, much like the Sainsburys and Tescos of this world dabbling
with banking, or have they just got it hopelessly wrong ?

Behind-the-scenes fulfilment of the TVs and fridges is handled by Home
Electrical Direct (HED) whose helpline operator (0870 6060290)
confirmed that " BarclaySquare *is* the merchant and takes the money -
they just choose to use HED for fulfilment."

Why partner with HED (=A3250,000 turnover last year)? It reeks of a
last resort - and Barclays loses out on price with HED whose own
no-frills site at www.hed.co.uk focuses entirely on discount prices,
invariably cheaper than Barclays' three new facades

Barclays has been talking to major market-leading electrical retailers
for a long time, trying to get them onto BarclaySquare, without success.
The major retail brands simply don't need BarclaySquare.

You don't see any bank owning a shopping "mall" in the real world, and
it has always puzzled me what a bank is doing owning a virtual shopping
mall. It is one thing Barclays owning an online shopping mall, but
selling fridges and TVs ?

Carl Christensen
Marketing Director
Domino Systems

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