December 27, 2001, 12:00 AM

U.K holiday web shoppers’ concerns today mirror Christmas past in U.S.

Only one in 10 of Britons with web access polled say the Internet eased holiday shopping this year.

Of the 40% of Britons responding to a survey by supply chain management software provider EXE Technologies who had Internet access, only 10% say the web eased the stress of Christmas shopping this year. More than a quarter of respondents said they didn’t trust online outlets to deliver purchases in time for the holidays, while 42% said they worried about providing credit card numbers online. And some 30% said they simply preferred to shop offline.

With retailers promising to make online shopping work smoothly this year, EXE’s survey suggests that in the UK, they still have far to go. According to EXE, those it polled who have Internet access found Christmas shopping just as stressful as those who don’t use the web found it to be.

"This is a pretty pathetic performance," says Steven Buckley, marketing director for EXE. "Though people in Britain can’t stand the high street at Christmas, it’s apparently still a more attractive prospect than taking a chance on the Internet. People just want the web to make ordering simple and to get the goods to them on time."

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