Kozmo delivery service closes

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April 19, 2001, the popular Internet delivery service, closed its doors permanently April 11.

In a statement, Kozmo CEO Gerry Burdo cited poor market conditions and bad management decisions as the cause of the company’s demise.

“Given more time and more hospitable market conditions, Kozmo would have succeeded in rounding the corner and would have continued to grow,” Burdo said.

Despite expanding to nine cities, attracting 400,000 customers and turning an operating profit last year in Boston, New York and San Francisco, Kozmo went the way of other online delivery services like Urban Fetch.

According to the Washington Times, Kozmo closed operations in all nine of its operating markets and has called in liquidators. Kozmo will lay off 1100 employees, including 71 in the District.

Specific figures for Georgetown were not available.

“I used it because it was convenient,” Cate Viacanti (CAS ‘03) said. “I was very sad and disappointed to hear it closed.”

Some campus groups expect to benefit from Kozmo’s closure.

“I’m pretty relieved,” Dominic Ambrosio (CAS ‘02), Director of Movie Mayhem, said. Movie Mayhem is the on-campus, student-run, movie rental unit of Students of Georgetown, Inc.

“We are anticipating an increase in sales, especially in ‘New Releases,’” Ambrosio said. “We’re going to keep track and probably order more movies for those who used to use Kozmo.”

Customers who rented movies before the company closed were unsure what to do with them when they heard about the shut down.

A notice posted on the Kozmo website April 16 laid out Kozmo’s post-closure policy.

“Our Drop Boxes are still in place for now and all past-due rentals will accrue late fees in accordance with Kozmo’s rental policies. However, any rental item you do not return by April 16, 2001 will be deemed a purchase,” the notice read.

“The site was down from Thursday through Sunday,” Jessie Driscoll (SFS ‘01) said. Driscoll rented five movies two days before the service closed. “I could owe a lot of money.”

Kozmo did not return phone calls placed this week.

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