Blockbuster Express Kiosks Go Publix16 Sep, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Blockbuster Inc.’s nascent Express $1-per-day movie rental kiosks are going into Publix Super Markets, the largest employee-owned grocery chain (with about 1,000 stores) throughout the Southeast.
Kiosk manufacturer NCR Corp., which is also a financial partner with Dallas-based Blockbuster in the planned rollout of 10,000 branded kiosks through 2010, said it would complete installation of the Express kiosks in most Florida-area Publix stores by Nov. 1.
Duluth, Ga.-based NCR, which also manufacturers rental kiosks for e-Play Inc., and owns The New Release and MovieCube brands, has begun Blockbuster Express installations in select Publix stores in other major markets, including Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; Savannah, Ga.; Greenville, S.C.; and Charleston, S.C.
Indeed, NCR is converting about 300 TNR and MovieCube kiosks to Express units.
Blockbuster, which just announced that it plans to shutter about 1,000 company-owned stores in the next two years, has said it would focus on smaller footprint store locations in urban areas, in addition to kiosks, by-mail and digital distribution.
Maria Brous, director of media and community relations for Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix, said the chain agreed to the kiosks when feedback received from customers indicated a strong interest in a wide selection of movies, ease of the transaction and the time-saving aspect of one-stop shopping.
“DVD movie rentals at Publix are just another way we meet the changing needs of our customers,” Brous said.
NCR kiosks hold about 800 movies. The company expects to invest as much as $60 million to build out its DVD-rental kiosk operations this year and to deploy more than 2,500 kiosks for a total of 10,000 kiosks by mid-year 2010.
Customers interested in finding the nearest Blockbuster Express can visit www.blockbusterexpress.com for a kiosk locator.