Peterborough-based Home Entertainment Corporation claims that it is among the few traditional companies to have profitably tapped into the internet retail revolution. Founded in 1985, Home Entertainment has 151 ‘Choices’ video rental outlets across the UK. It also has video stands in other companies’ stores branded as Video Box Office. In the early 1990s it launched ‘Choices Direct’, offering on-line and telephone sales of videos, DVDs, Playstation games and audio cassettes. The company’s profits have grown by 35% pa from £1.9m in 1996 to £4.6m in 1999. Chairman Iain Muspratt attributes this to 31% pa sales growth over the same period to £50m in 1999, and the resulting economies of scale. He also says that experiments with on-line trading in the early 1990s meant the company was well-placed to profit from the wide uptake of e-commerce.
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