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Old Navy keeps its Net store at bay

Joining a growing list of traditional retailers, the discount fashion chain will largely miss out on the e-commerce holiday shopping rush.

Joining a growing list of traditional retailers, Old Navy will largely miss out on the e-commerce holiday shopping rush, a company representative said today.

The Gap-owned discount fashion chain will not launch its Web store until after the New Year, the representative said. Despite earlier indications that the store would launch this fall, the company said it planned all along to wait until next year.

"There were no plans to get it launched before 2000," the representative said. "We're not even seeing it as a delay."

Old Navy is only the latest offline retailer to acknowledge that it will be missing out on this all-important online shopping season--which Forrester Research projects to reach $4 billion in sales between Thanksgiving and the New Year. Home improvement giants Home Depot and apparel retailer Limited already have said they won't have their Web stores in place this holiday season.

Meanwhile, other retailers such as Wal-Mart and Ethan Allen have announced delays in either relaunching their Web stores or expanding them.

Forrester Research projects online holiday sales to reach $4 billion between Thanksgiving and the New Year.

Old Navy's sister retailer Gap was one of the first apparel chains to go online, setting up its Web store two years ago. Although Gap opened online stores for its BabyGap and GapKids chains last year, it didn't launch an online store for its Banana Republic brand until last month.

Old Navy's Web site launched about the same time, and currently sells gift certificates for its physical stores. The site also provides pictures of the company's clothes, and offers an assortment of games, customer photographs and interactive polls.

"It really does encompass the fun feeling of shopping at Old Navy," the representative said.