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TK's MORNING BUZZ: Start the Transition -- It's Going to Be a Boffo 1st Quarter for All Things DVD

20 Nov, 2000 By: Thomas K. Arnold

The holiday shopping season begins in earnest at the end of this week, and I hope video retailers are planning their strategy with this thought in mind: If you haven't already done so, it's time to start thinking about the inevitable transition from VHS to DVD.

This means bringing in higher quantities of DVD versions of hot new titles in lieu of VHS cassettes, and also stepping up selloff of recent VHS rental titles to reduce inventories. If there are certain VHS titles that just seem to sit on your shelf, the situation isn't going to get any better, so you might as well start paring down your inventory now and taking advantage of the holiday sales spirit.

If I were a video retailer, I'd really spruce up my "used VHS" bins with bold signage and maybe even dedicate a separate section in my store. If I were a larger retailer already heavy into movie sales, I'd employ the same tactic to get rid of some of those sellthrough catalog titles that have been gathering dust for the better part of the year. Now is the time to really push VHS sales, with the objective of lowering the percentage (if not the domination) of cassettes in relation to discs.

After the first of the year, with all those new DVD players in households, consumers are going to want to rent and buy discs like never before. VHS cassettes will have about as much appeal as 8-tracks. Now, with the holidays approaching, cassette sales still have a chance, if done right.

Push them in your stores, put together collections or maybe even gift baskets, but get them into your customers' hands as soon as possible, before they lose what little appeal they have left.

Video specialists may be afraid to cut loose too many of their cassettes, since they typically pride themselves on selection and diversity. I'm not advocating getting rid of everything--just the stuff that doesn't move, and basically exists in your store solely for bragging rights. Up your DVD buys to take up the slack, and you'll end the holidays ready for what more and more people are saying will be a boffo first quarter for all things DVD.

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

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