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A fascinating portrait of operations at UK retailer Sports Direct’s main UK distribution centre at Shirebrook in Derbyshire, said to be one of the most antiquated logistics operations in the country: “There is no complexity. Everything is bought as cheaply as possible. There is one warehouse, located in one of the cheapest places in the country, there is no sophisticated computer system. If you go to the Amazon warehouse it is all very automated. At Sports Direct it is very manual.” However, it has proved remarkably effective at funnelling – the practice of stocking “its shops with more products that sell, while keeping overall stock, re-ordering and unwanted discounting down”.

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