For the exclusive investigation we ordered two DVDs from each of the following stores.
TheHut.com are based in Cheshire. They sell home entertainment products such as books, DVDs, games, and have recently expanded into other areas such as memory cards. Founded five years ago, the company generated £14 in sales in the last financial year, selling a product every 10 seconds through its own site or one of its partners. Last year they ranked No. 8 in Britain according to the Sunday Times Microsoft Tech Track 100 league table published in the autumn.
TheHut.com has become more and more difficult to find your way around as it's evolved from becoming a specialist entertainment retailer into a general warehouse selling everything under the sun. Nonetheless, you'll discover a site is easy to find your way around and stocks thousands of DVDs at prices that eyebrow-raisingly low. Delivery is free in the UK. Top dog.
After achieving their ambition of dominating the online DVD rental business, in 2008 LOVEFiLM set-up a heavily marketed store to sell DVDs, games and memory. They have a massive range of new and existing DVD, Blu-ray, HD-DVD and games titles.
The shop has cluttered look, with ugly bright banners on the top and right-hand side, but four USPs help it stand heads and tails above the rest: trailers of many DVDs and games, keen prices, free delivery, and the buying process has been made an absolute breeze (though don't forget to unsubscribe from being bombarded with promotional emails). Our movies arrived in only three days. Love film? You'll love to shop at LOVEFiLM Shop which we have rated 5 out of 5.
Amazon.co.uk is often recommended by journalists. Amazon manages to win over many hacks because it's the only online store they have bothered to order from. The site is full of distractions, bland and unashamedly commercial. Little effort is made to provide visitors with movie news, features, actor interviews or anything other than trying to take your credit card number. This is not necessarily a sin, but the prices are high compared to DVD specialist stores. Whereas other online retailers realize they have to offer substantial discounts to lure customers, buying DVDs - especially non-bestsellers - from Amazon UK can end up making a big hole in your pocket.
Unlike most other DVD stores, there's a hefty postal charge to pay unless you order a couple of items. Disappointing. The one advantage over other retailers is that customer service is good; though, like many bigger companies, they do make it difficult to find their contact details.
Each month we give the staff in a particular department of UKHotMovies.com their five minutes of fame. This we're showing off our three investigative reporters. More your mouse over the pics to find out more.