A WORLDWIDE Internet shopping service is under development by international fashion brand and retail chain, The Gap. Due to open early in 1999, the initiative will give a significant boost to e-commerce, not least because it will encourage other major fashion retailers to follow suit. The Gap has had an online transactional site in the USA since last November, generating results, claims chief financial officer Warren Hashagen, that are ‘very, very encouraging’. It is not yet clear how many countries the expanded service will cover or what pricing policy the company will adopt for lines that are also on sale via conventional outlets. Last year The Gap recorded sales of $6 billion (£3.7 bn) in six countries.