Clothing sales on the Internet are rising steadily but some companies are pulling out of this area because they say it is just not cost-effective.

Wal-Mart Stores has taken clothing off its website because it said between the low price points and handling costs, it just was not profitable.

Another company, Bluelight.com, Kmart Corporation's website, which was relaunched in mid-April, no longer sells clothing.

A Bluelight spokesman said Kmart's online customers differ from its store customers.

Online shoppers are more interested in electronics, home appliances and home accessories than clothes, he said.

Overstock.com said it sells clothing but mainly in bulk and limits what it sells, concentrating on basics.

The biggest problem with selling clothing online, say retailers, are returns. Clothing returns on the Internet are estimated at between 25 per cent and 50 per cent.