Three million new Net users in the UK

Number of Net users in Britain up as traditional retailers cash in on Internet sales

There are more than 11.5 million people surfing the Internet from home in the UK, a growth of 3 million for the year 2000, according to the latest figures from Internet monitoring company NetValue.

Although the figures should help console an industry plagued by high profile failures and stock market apathy, they also show that the Web sites of traditional bricks and mortar retailers like argos.co.uk, comet.co.uk and tesco.com showed the most significant growth.

These three sites came in at one, two and three respectively for the most popular sites in December 2000. Interestingly beleaguered dot-com letsbuyit.com came in in sixth place.

The figures also indicate that the proportion of women online increased during 2000 from 39 to 40 percent of all Web surfers, helping to reduce the traditional male bias of the Internet. They also show that the number of surfers over the age of fifty -- dubbed silver surfers -- grew over 2000 by half a million to 2.2m users.

Internet users in the UK are also going online more frequently, the research indicates. Internet users went online an average of 19.1 times during December 2000, compared to 14.9 sessions during the same period in 1999.

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