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TK's MORNING BUZZ: The Era of the Entertainment Emporium is Upon Us

2 Mar, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

The era of the Entertainment Emporium is upon us.

First Best Buy buys Musicland and announces plans to add all sorts of nifty gadgets to the music chain's hundreds of Sam Goody's mall stores, from DVD software and hardware to satellite systems and other high-tech consumer electronics.

At the time, one analyst said the converted mall stores will be Radio Shack clones, only with software.

That comment must have spurred Radio Shack into action. A day after the Best Buy-Musicland deal was announced late last year, Radio Shack's chief told shareholders they had nothing to worry about -- that Radio Shack's position was secure.

Just to be sure, Radio Shack has now cut a deal with Blockbuster to open Radio Shack departments in Blockbuster stores -- either 600-square-foot stores-within-stores or smaller kiosks. That's just one more piece of Blockbuster's diversification goal -- and, one might surmise, Radio Shack's desire to keep up with the Goody's.

In any event, what this means is that the home entertainment retail landscape is undergoing a dramatic metamorphosis. Sam Goody's music stores have traditionally focused on software, and so have Blockbuster Video stores. But that's all going to change in the very near future; depending on how fast the rollouts go, we could ultimately see the birth of around 6,000 new "entertainment emporiums" mimicking, albeit on a smaller scale, what has been a hugely successful strategy for Best Buy and, to a lesser extent, Circuit City.

Imagine buying a DVD player and then being able to buy DVDs, all at the same place. Wow, what a concept.

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

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