French Connection to connect in cyberspace

Retailer will sell trendy clothes online, and even give away suggestive T-shirts.

Fashion retailer French Connection Tuesday announced a move into e-commerce, with a Web site to go live 30 September.

The move, along with a strong earnings report, was warmly received by the market, which boosted FCUK shares 11 percent.

At launch, will offer promotional T-shirts with slogans such as "think my cloth off" and "naked underneath". But the online shop will initially offer a limited selection, through the company's existing mail-order division, because 30 to 50 percent of orders are returned, the company said.

French Connection reported an 84 percent rise in pre-tax profit to £6.5m in the six months to July 31. Turnover rose from £50.7m to £70.1m, partly helped by four new openings. Analysts said the company's US growth was particularly impressive.

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