Retail briefs

amazon shares plummet shares dropped 19 per cent last week to $US33.78, after reports from market analysts that the e-tailing giant may not meet earnings forecasts.

The fall sparked a technology stock slide in the US, pushing the Nasdaq down 2.3 per cent, following a report from analyst Lehman Bros.

In the report to bond investors, Lehman Bros' Ravi Suria said amazon's negative cashflow and high debt put the company under "extremely high risk", with little margin for has disputed Suria's conclusions as "hogwash" millionaires onlineMillionaires are far more likely to shop online, according to the latest report from Forrester Research.

The affluent - those with investable assets of at least $US1 million - are the most common users of the Internet according to the report "The Millionaire Online", which dispels the commonly touted idea that the wealthy are largely technophobic.

As well as owning more technology-based products such as DVDs, digital cameras and rewritable CD drives, the wealthy are also 16 per cent more likely to regularly research products online before buying. Although they spend more online, millionaires seek reasonably priced, quality products, the report said.

Fifty-six per cent of well-off households are connected to the Internet, compare with 43 per cent of the general population.

"The affluent are a much sought after market for a whole host of companies," said Forrester analyst Ekaterina Walsh.

Telco sells retail arm

Telco Australia has sold its retail reseller business Adlink in a $1.5 million management buy-out.

As part of the deal, Adlink's management will acquire the retail mobile phone and long distance reseller business as well as billing and customer services. Telco's subsidiary GoGo Net will retain its Internet assets.

According to the company, the deal will enable Telco to focus on its wholesale telephony business.

"The retail telephony business is characterised as being labour intensive with ever-shrinking margins," said Siegfried Konig, Telco's managing director. "Global wholesale telephony, on the other hand, requires relatively little labour input and the size of the deals allow for considerable profit to be made despite the competitiveness of the industry."

Selling the retail business would free up management resources to focus on Telco's telephony business and to pursue more lucrative opportunities elsewhere, he

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