Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2005 (Revised August 2013)

Amazon.com's European Distribution Strategy

by Janice Hammond and Claire Chiron

Abstract

Describes how Amazon's distribution system evolved from the company's inception. In 2003, Amazon Europe must decide how to reconfigure its distribution network in light of expected growth, products proliferation, and geographical expansion in Europe. Examines how characteristics of suppliers and customers differ across the markets Amazon serves in Europe. The protagonist must consider the degree of centralization appropriate for the European network, where inventory should be held, what fulfillment models should be used, and how to manage risks of supply disruption.

Keywords: Business Model; Decision Choices and Conditions; Growth and Development; Business or Company Management; Growth and Development Strategy; Supply and Industry; Distribution; Supply Chain; Risk and Uncertainty; Expansion; Web Services Industry;

Citation:

Hammond, Janice, and Claire Chiron. "Amazon.com's European Distribution Strategy." Harvard Business School Case 605-002, June 2005. (Revised August 2013.)