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Many Happy Returns

29 Dec, 2003 By: Kurt Indvik

If “re-gifting” was all the rage this holiday season, (and I wonder how many DVDs got passed around in this process) I got a kick out of a couple of other observations that played against the whole holiday gift churn that doubtless home video retailers may see some of this post holiday season.

You had to laugh at the report about the Sam Goody store promotion at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. In this “Sam Goody Bad-Gift Boycott” the store offered to exchange gift cards valued up to $500 for any unwanted gifts shoppers brought down to the store. Legions arrived with their bad gifts and created a mountain of merchandise in return for a gift card for new music or video.

For kids not living in Bloomington who couldn’t join the rush to return the days after Christmas, I noticed an odd little phenomenon going on in my own neighborhood that I bet was being played out around the country. On two different occasions, kids attempted to flag me down to buy a cup of lemonade (for a small fee) as I drove past. (The “winter” weather in Southern California accommodates the notion of a roadside lemonade stand in December.) And on another day, I saw kids waving a “Car Wash” sign ($5) even as rain clouds gathered. Meanwhile, even my youngest daughter was busy working for a neighbor real estate agent stuffing envelopes to earn money for a scooter she saw one of her friends get for Christmas. (Hey, we bought her a nifty little stereo for her room, and the family got a PS2 and she got plenty of games, so don’t blame me.)

Yes, indeed, if you can’t re-gift and you can’t return, then just get out there and earn enough money to buy your own present if you are suffering from some form of Christmas gift envy.

Chances are there will be plenty of action on the DVD front this post-holiday returns season as one of the most popular gifts of the season will likely mean that a sizeable number of people got DVDs they either owned already or don’t care to see (but would gladly exchange for another title).

Meanwhile, doubtless few of us would exchange 2003 for some other year in the home entertainment business. It was a stellar year overall for home video. Let’s hope 2004 can achieve similar heights.

Happy New Year.

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