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Zoom.co.uk Hosts UK's First Virtual Shopping Evening

London department stores do it all the time: host shopping evenings when card-carrying customers are invited to attend exclusive sale previews and fashion evenings. Now it's shopping gateway Zoom.co.uk's turn.

The site announced that it will hold the UK's first virtual shopping evening on Tuesday 19 October, from 6 to 9 pm.

Zoom.co.uk will stage the event on its Evans channel, one of its most successful online stores. Shoppers will have a chance to preview and buy millennium party wear from Dawn French's 16/47 designer range -- and get a 10 per cent discount on all items purchased.

"With over 40 per cent of the UK population size 16 and over -- this is without a doubt the most neglected segment in the fashion industry," said Marcia Brackett, the Daily Mail's fashion editor who will be giving fashion advice during the evening.

"Evans' virtual shopping evening through Zoom.co.uk is a great example of a high street retailer understanding its customers and giving them exclusive deals through a fun event that's easy to attend whoever and wherever you are in the UK."

It remains to be seen whether UK Internet users are ready for this kind of sales event. Users will need to have RealPlayer video and sound installed on their computers -- and, although Zoom is offering an easy download facility, many people who habitually buy party clothes may not be entirely comfortable installing new software from the Internet.

Zoom is operated by Arcadia Group and was launched in June 1999. Its partners include HMV, Littlewoods Index, Carlton Online, Red or Dead, and Diesel.