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VHS — It's Still Around

16 Aug, 2004 By: Stephanie Prange

Walking through a local Target yesterday, I was surprised to find a good amount of space devoted to VHS inventory. I would say that at least 20 percent of the video shelving featured VHS, especially the kids and Spanish-language sections.

Being in the industry, it's easy for us to get preoccupied with the newer, dominant format of DVD. Certainly there will be times when VHS will go the way of the 8-track tape or beta. But, if you look at Target shelves, the complete move to DVD-only is certainly not in the offing right now.

As DVD players again hit rock-bottom prices this holiday season, the shelves may shift more significantly away from VHS, but currently, it looks as if the VHS cassette market isn't yet gone.

It's interesting that the cassette has hung on as long as it has, while DVD players can be had for $40 or less. Certainly, the confusion over DVD recorder technology hasn't helped (plus, minus — it's very confusing). Consumers have likely held onto that VCR to record TV or play home movies.

In my case, both of our VCRs simply broke, and we decided not to replace them. But, judging by the shelves at Target, there are plenty of working machines still out there and many consumers willing to pay to buy pre-recorded programming for them.

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