I thought this was an interesting take on why the UK is so far ahead of its European counterparts in e-commerce volumes and penetration. According to e-marketer the UK will account for at least 40% of online sales in Western Europe in 2008, a figure they partly put down to "a long tradition of catalogue and mail-order shopping". Although I don’t recall my family ever being prolific catalogue shoppers, I have a distant memory of my mum buying a green leather coat (it was the seventies) from the Marshall Ward catalogue, and I can well believe this theory about the Brits. We still love our catalogues, but we love our online shopping too – the average spend per buyer is predicted to reach £2000 this year.
In fairness to e-marketer, they also cite several other reasons for the UK’s e-commerce empowerment including the generally positive retail experience afforded by UK online retailers who have largely nailed security and delivery concerns and provided competitive pricing to the consumer. But unfortunately that’s not as relevant to a laughable picture of men with vests tucked into their Y-fronts.