Online video store and all-round success story

It might sound like the worst sort of ’70s sci-fi trash, but Black Star is the UK’s biggest online video store. It has grown rapidly since it started selling films online just over a year ago. The site aims to stock every video and DVD on release in the UK. But there’s no movie news or gossip here. Even a link marked ‘Oscars ‘ has no mention of Gwynneth Paltrow blubbering over her statuette – just a list of past winners of the Best Picture Oscars, including Braveheart, French Connection and Forrest Gump.

And talking of things being like a box of chocolates, this site lets you search for videos by their subject, name, star or director. The diversity of what’s on offer is huge – from children’s comedies like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to serious titles dealing with death and the role of women, such as Like Water For Chocolate. The Belfast-based company has over 50,000 titles on offer, and an express checkout takes only seconds to process your order. Security is tight, and you can check when Black Star receives your order and when it dispatches it to your home. It will even send you an email telling you which stage your order has reached. Once you’ve placed an order, the site will recognise you the next time you visit. And you’ll probably want to return – Black Star offers 20 per cent discounts on a changing list of titles, and charges nothing for postage and packing. You can even compile a hit list of all the films you’d like to own.

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