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TK's MORNING BUZZ: Savvy, Shrewd and Wily -- Subdistributors Go to Great Lengths to Move Product

17 Apr, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Subdistributors are savvy, shrewd and wily. They'll go to great lengths to move product, to get a piece of the action.

Take J&I, a subdistributor based in the Northeast. This sharp little sub has somehow managed to snag the Web domain name "www.warnerdirect.com." Go to that address and you'll find plenty of Warner Direct Rental titles -- and a whole lot more.

Your journey begins on the warnerdirect.com home page, with a glowing description of J&I as "one of the leaders" of the home video industry, with a "database of over 80,000 video items from VHS to DVD." J&I also has "the ability to service clients from Europe to west Africa."

Click on the "retail e-commerce" link and you'll be directed to the UrbanCinema.com Web site, where you can order an assortment of titles ranging from Faces of Death, Five Fingers of Death and Cooley High to Scarface. There are icons for various categories, including Faces of Death, urban and Tupac.

Click on the "hit movies" icon and you get the big mainstream stuff; last night, available offerings included American Pie, Stuart Little and all sorts of other recent hits for less than $15 each.

The clincher, however, is the "New Warner Direct" link right on J&I's home page. Click on this link and you'll find a complete listing of J&I offerings, including such recent Warner titles as Race Against Time ($49.99) and The Art of War ($69).

I wonder how many cases of mistaken identity sent business J&I's way? The correct address for Warner Direct, by the way, is www.whvdirect.com.

J&I isn't the only savvy sub seeking to benefit by playing the name game. All distributors have toll-free numbers, and it's no secret that 800 numbers are in short supply. Some distributors have wisely snapped up the same number in all three prefixes (800, 888, 877), Flash Electronics among them.

One that didn't is Ingram Entertainment. Call 1-800-621-1333 and you'll get the Ingram Entertainment sales line. But dial 1-888-621-1333 and you'll get...well, you'll just have to try it, won't you?

Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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