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One million shop visits to cyberspace


The world’s largest internet shopping mall this week had its millionth store visit.
Since launched two weeks ago thousands of visitors have flocked through its cyberspace doors.
Top retails names, including Mark and Spencers, Next and Starbucks have taken space in the virtual mall which has more than 2,000 stores.
Creator John Lowe, 55, said this week that he had recorded that the number of shop visits had now hit one million.
Mr Lowe, who built the shopping mall in the back bedroom of his house in the middle of the English countryside, said: ’I’ve been delighted by the number of visitors. To hit one million different shop visits is superb.
’I’m still adding new shops every day. There’s a total of 19,000 retail stores to be filled.
’Some people spend nearly an hour shopping around my simulated shopping mall.’
Customers can use their mouse to browse around the shops moving between levels by clicking on the ’up’ and ’down’ elevators.
As the shopper moves their cursor over one of the shopping mall’s windows a sign appears giving information about a link to a particular retail outlet and a brief description of what it sells.
If the customer wants to go ’inside’ the shop they click the window and are fowarded on to a particular internet site.
Mr Lowe, who lives in the small Lincolnshire Fen village of Pinchbeck, near Spalding, said: ’I’ve tried to keep the graphics as simple as possible so that people using an internet dial-up system can log on easily and don’t have to wait ages for the pages to download.
’All I’ve done is recreate an everyday shopping experience on the computer. The concept is really simple.
’When you go shopping in a real mall you go past several different shops selling different products so I’ve recreated that random element.
Father-of-two Mr Lowe has added small details such as trees, fountains, bowling alleys, cinemas and icecream parlours to his mall. Waiters can be seen serving food at restaurants and shopping trolleys are dotted around the store.
Eventually, Mr Lowe intends to make the site more interactive so that visitors can watch a short film at the cinema or play a simple game at the bowling alley.


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