January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Cheaper In Indiana

Citing lower rent, labor and other operating costs in the Midwest, Pets.com has relocated the bulk of its customer service operations from the pricey San Francisco Bay area, where the company retains its corporate headquarters, to a new customer service call center in Greenwood, Ind.. Pets.com already operates a distribution center in Greenwood. The pet supply e-retailer expects the move to the Midwest to reduce calling costs to eastern and midwestern sections of the United States, while relocating to the Central time zone will speed up call center agent response to customers in all parts of the country. Pets.com says it will share resources and cross-train employees between its Indiana-based customer service and distribution centers. Operating efficiencies gained by the move, according to company officials, should accelerate the company toward profitability. Pets.com will maintain a small customer service center in its San Francisco headquarters.

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