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Grocery May Be The Best Spot for Disposable Discs

1 Jun, 2003 By: Kurt Indvik

It doesn't appear that many specialty retailers see a disposable disc product like the one being tested by Buena Vista Home Entertainment in August as something that could benefit their business. At least that's the way our most recent online poll shows it. It was a poll that drew a heavy response, which obviously indicates a strong interest and concern about the upcoming test.

When asked “Where do you think the EZ-D self destructing disc will sell well?” only 4.4 percent of respondents said specialty retail outlets. Another 34.6 percent don't seem to think the discs have much merit in any retail outlet and voted for “nowhere.”

However, 42.86 percent did say they felt that convenience stores, gas stations and grocery stores, places that get high regular traffic and offer the highest impulse purchase options, could likely do well with a disposable DVD display. Another 18.13 percent of respondents chose mass merchants as another potentially successful retail environment for disposable DVDs.

I agree that supermarkets, especially, may indeed find the disposable disc concept a very attractive way to get back into the rental market again after so many grocers abandonend that part of the business a number of years ago in the heyday of VHS and complicated, high-maintenance, rev-sharing deals. In mid-2002 supermarkets generated 4 percent of overall VHS rentals and 3 percent of DVD rentals, according to figures from Alexander & Associates. That's quite a drop from the 11 percent of the rental market supermarkets had about a decade ago.

I would not be surprised to see a number of supermarkets participating in the August test. If this product can work anywhere, grocery may be the ideal retail environment.

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