Axing telephone sales and mail-order catalogues in favour of internet-based ordering has proved a master stroke for computer retailer Dabs. It was founded by David Atherton and Bruce Smith as an IT publishing firm in 1987, changing direction three years later when it started selling computers and other electronic goods by mail order. Switching from mail order to a web-based ordering system in 1999 cut operating costs significantly, helping profits to rise 90% from £967,000 in 2001 to £6.7m in 2004.
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