In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
Once the bandwidth is in a store for one set of purposes, others can be added easily. Virgin MegaStores has deployed 35 web-based kiosks at stores in Boston and New York with no additional telecom infrastructure.
One problem in moving new web-based systems into stores is getting the communications bandwidth. But once the bandwidth is there for one set of purposes, others can be added easily. Example: Virgin MegaStores has been successful with its deployment of 35 web-based kiosks at stores in Boston and New York to allow customers to scan and then listen to any CD in the store’s inventory. The added telecom infrastructure: Zero. "There is no incremental cost because we’re using the spare bandwidth in the stores and the connection is highly reliable," says Jan De Jong, vice president of information technology at Virgin. Listening requests from customers at the kiosks travel over the same T1 lines the stores have in place for POS data. De Jong says Virgin hopes to install 100 more kiosks in major market stores this year.