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[15 MAR 00] CITY CENTRE COMPANY COVENTRY NEWS
City Centre Chiefs Dismiss E-commerce Threat
BY ANTONY HOPKER

Shopping in Coventry is set to become more of a social experience following the rise of e-commerce, according to the people responsible for attracting people to the city centre.

New developments such as the 38 million project in the Lower Precinct should ensure that there will be a steady flow of shoppers.

And some groups of people are always going to want to go out shopping together rather than use a computer, they believe.

Liz Millett, City Centre Company CoventryLiz Millett, chief executive of the City Centre Company said stores should be aware of the threat that shopping on the internet could pose.

But she also believes that it could be an opportunity for city centres to change focus.

While people may increasingly turn to the web for day-to-day needs, shops will continue to thrive.

Ms Millett said:

"In some ways e-commerce is like a sophisticated form of mail order.

"It might present some problems, but there will be new opportunities coming from this. New distribution networks will be required, and city centres might become a place where people can pick up the goods they ordered.

"Our first job is to make sure that Coventrians continue to use the city centre and in the longer term we need to start to draw people in the from the hinterland."

Martin Ritchley, Coventry Building SocietyMartin Ritchley, chief executive of Coventry Building Society, said he expected evolution instead of revolution in the market place.

He said:

"We’ve got 14 branch offices in Coventry and don’t expect pensioners to be deserting them in favour of the internet.

"To be physically going somewhere to do something is going to be important for a long time to come."
    

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CWN / Business / A-Z / City Centre Company Coventry / 15 Mar 00

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