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Enter the e-tailer...Amazon's latest venture sees the company offering rental DVDs. The service was launched in December 2004 and the company remains confident it is gathering momentum in a crowded marketplace - aided by some competitive price cutting around its offer.
If you think it sounds odd that the company should have launched the service in December, when it was at its busiest, then you'd be right. Chris Bateman, senior operations manager at Amazon.co.uk, admitted to silicon.com that it had originally been planned for September.
"But you know how it works," he said. "September became October, became November, became December."
Rack after rack of DVDs occupies one corner of the huge Marston Gate warehouse. The supply chain management systems at work notify staff as to which returned DVDs need to go back on the shelves and which are simply going to be sent straight out again to another customer, rendering a return to the shelves a waste of effort.
Racks as far as the eye can see. The shelves of DVDs are nothing compared to the racks of other goods - stocking everything from books and CDs to kettles, games and children's toys. Hundreds of metres of conveyor belts are also at hand to ferry crates of goods around the warehouse.