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THE MORNING BUZZ: DVD's Value Pricing a Particular Plus This Holiday Season

7 Oct, 2002 By: Stephanie Prange

With the holidays bearing down on us, the experts are telling us American consumers are tapped out, having carried the struggling economy as far as their wallets would allow. Entering the important fourth quarter with a spent consumer is a disaster for many businesses, but history tells us home entertainment holds up fairly well in difficult economic times. So far, indications are good. Monsters, Inc., an early entry in the season, scored record sales for Buena Vista. But it wouldn't hurt to remind consumers the value DVD offers, particularly as a gift.

As the mother of a 4-year-old with social schedule that includes at least one birthday party every month, I can testify that gift-giving can really add up. Compared to the $30 pieces of plastic I've purchased for little birthday girls and boys, DVDs — with prices ranging from $15 to $20 — are a great value. I've seen many a feted youngster toss aside the plastic toy in favor of the prized disc.

One of DVD's greatest strengths is its value. Audio market observers have noted as much, saying DVD offers picture, sound and extras for about the same price as (or less than) a CD. Also, unlike other children's gifts, a DVD is a present the whole family can probably enjoy.

As the holidays approach, retailers should encourage shoppers to economize by buying DVDs. Why be coy about it? Acknowledge to consumers that they're tapped out and remind them they get a lot more for their money when they buy a DVD. Since not every child will need another copy of the hits, encourage gift givers to buy niche and classic catalog titles.

While no retailer relishes entering a holiday season in bad economic times, the video business is better off than most. With aggressive marketing, the industry can attract cost-conscious consumers and survive what looks like a lean fourth quarter.

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