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TK's MORNING BUZZ: DVD Just Might Be Retailers' Ticket to Ride a Recession

3 Apr, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

We're in the final stages of assembling our annual Top 100 ranking of the nation's -- and, this year, the world's -- top home entertainment retailers. And what strikes me as interesting thus far into the game is how DVD is benefitting everyone across all classes of trade.

Music chains are using DVD to compensate for flat CD sales. Video specialists are using DVD rentals to combat the big guys. Mass merchants are using DVD to add even more sparkle to their already-strong sellthrough numbers, while consumer electronics chains like Best Buy are finding consumers like to buy software right where they buy hardware.

Right now, it appears, DVD has something for everyone involved in retail. And that's a very good strength to have, particularly now, at a time when more and more signs are pointing to the "R" word. If the economic downturn progresses, retailers will welcome anything that can keep consumers coming into their stores, and the continuing public infatuation with DVD just might be the ticket retailers can use to ride through any economic storm that may happen.

During the last recession, video retailers were not immune to the economic hardships of their brethren. The great shakeout of 1991 claimed thousands of independents, even though the value of renting a video, in the public's eye, soared as money became tight.

This time around, video retailers with whom I've spoken are, on the whole, less fearful of any recession than those with whom I spoke a decade ago. You can thank DVD for that.

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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