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Episode three: Amazon’s Retail Revolution

Updated Thursday 3rd April 2014

This programme follows the fortunes of the ultimate online retail success story: Amazon.

Parcels on conveyor belt at Amazon warehouse, Hemel Hempstead Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC (Photographer: Ben Morse) Inside an Amazon warehouse

About the episode

This programme follows the fortunes of the ultimate online retail success story - a business that was born in a garage twenty years ago and grew into a £100 billion global giant. Along the way, the Amazon phenomenon has inspired, shaped – and sometimes squeezed – the rest of the retail sector, while revolutionising our attitudes to online business and transforming the way we shop. Now British people do more of their shopping online than any other nation and last year tens of millions of British customers used Amazon to buy £4.5 billion worth of goods.

The story of our growing use of Amazon is the story of the internet age. Time and again, founder Jeff Bezos has moved the goalposts for many industries. Publishers, retailers and even the French minister of culture criticise Amazon’s practices and bemoan its sheer size, but Amazon defends its record for providing customers with choice and competitive prices. And Bezos’ confidence in his mantra “start with the customer and work backwards” is already taking Amazon into new sectors – groceries, ebooks, film production, and cloud computing services. 

This episode was first broadcast on BBC Two on 21st April 2014.

 

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