Harry Potter keeping workers in Coffeyville, Kansas busy

Thursday, June 19th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Security is very tight for the next release of Harry Potter. News on 6 consumer reporter Rick Wells went to the Amazon warehouse in Coffeyville, Kansas Thursday to see just how tight the security is.

Coffeyville is one of five Amazon.com distribution centers in the country. I asked about restrictions, I was told; we just can't allow you to touch the product. Bert Wagner, distribution center general manager, Bert Wagner, "This is our biggest release ever."

In fact, Harry Potter V, “The Order of the Phoenix”, is believed to be the biggest new product release in e-commerce history and security is tight. "We always have 24 hour security, but we have tightened it up for Harry Potter."

I asked him how much tighter, he just smiled. But they weren't taking any chances with me, everywhere I walked, security was right behind. I stopped. He stopped. I moved he moved. Individual pre-orders for the books are being addressed, scanned, and stacked on pallets.

A lady from Fed-Ex, scans each book. The pallets are loaded on trucks, Fed-Ex will break em down and get the books to their destinations on time but not early. "Our carriers are instructed not to deliver before 12:01 Saturday morning."

This is the tail end of the Potter pre-release shipments. They've been doing this non-stop for a couple of weeks. So how many books? "I'll tell you tens of thousands." Wells, “You're not gonna tell me exactly are you? Is it because you can't?" More security, I guess.

Security cameras monitor this million square foot facility constantly; another security guy monitored the production line.

And if you think just because I was from a TV station I was immune. There's a metal detector. She checked my shirt. Checked me with a wand. And then just in case, Security: "Would you please raise you pant legs for me." At least the socks match. Security: "Ok you're good to go."