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Costco: ’Tis the Season for Blu-ray Disc'

3 Dec, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Entering the winter holidays, Costco Wholesale Corp. is putting the spotlight on Blu-ray Disc hardware and movies.

The Issaquah, Wash.-based big box retailer with 555 membership warehouse stores has expanded in-store availability of Blu-ray movies from 100 titles to 150 titles through the holidays — with prices starting at $9.99 each.

“Blu-ray Disc movies are now the focus of our department,” said Costco warehouse DVD/Blu-ray buyer Claudia Augello in the December issue of Costco Connection, distributed monthly to the company’s 53 million cardholders. 

Indeed, the publication devoted significant attention to the high-definition format, including outlining what Blu-ray is, why it is better than DVD, and how consumers can bring the experience into their homes.

Education about the format, besides the ongoing recession, continues to be a major challenge to greater consumer adoption of Blu-ray, with many shoppers unaware that BD players will play their standard DVDs, according to recent surveys.

“Going from DVD to Blu-ray is like slipping on a pair of prescription glasses for the first time,” said Costco high-tech expert Marc Saltzman in an article titled “My Blu Heaven.”

A sidebar focuses on the availability of Blu-ray players at Costco, including mentioning that consumers also can play BD movies on a Sony PlayStation 3.

Beginning Dec. 18, Costco is cutting $15 from select already reduced Blu-ray boxed sets from HBO Home Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, including James Bond Vol. 1-3, Die Hard Collection and cable series John Adams, Band of Brothers, True Blood: Season One and The Sopranos: Season One.

The retailer is also taking $10 off assorted Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Blu-ray boxed sets, including Spider-Man Trilogy, Underworld Trilogy, Resident Evil Trilogy, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon/Curse of the Golden Flower/House of Flying Daggers.

Finally, Costco is offering free in-home “Concierge Services” technical support for any consumer electronics purchase, including Blu-ray players and home theater systems.

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