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TK's MORNING BUZZ: Video Retailers Need to Reinvent Themselves From the Ground Up -- Before It's Too Late

7 Feb, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold


Now that the merger between Best Buy and Musicland is finalized, Best Buy can realize its vision of turning hundreds of Sam Goody mall record stores into mini-Radio Shacks, selling a variety of digital home entertainment hardware and software.

Meanwhile, other record stores are stepping up their DVD inventories to make up for sluggish music sales.

If you think video rental stores are a disappearing species, consider the plight of independent record stores.

They went away years ago, done in by national specialty chains as well as "big box" discounters like Costco.

Now, even many of the remaining record stores are evolving into something more, something else -- with an end goal that appears to be something resembling the multimedia home entertainment superstore we all talked about and dreamed about a decade ago in regard to video stores' future.

But while record stores have changed, and are changing, video stores are essentially the same as they've always been. Oh, sure, there are fewer of them, and a growing number are sporting a blue and yellow logo and cookie-cutter setups and inventories. But by and large, video rental stores are still primarily in the business of renting videos, while music stores are in all sorts of businesses, from movies and licensed merchandise to hardware and wireless doo-dads.

Should video retailers be concerned about their apparent inability to change? Or is it simply a matter of time before they do? Video retailing has taken its share of lumps and bruises over the last few years, but that's nothing compared to the suffering music retailers have had to endure.

Maybe when digital downloading becomes as viable for movies as it is for music will video retailers do something drastic and reinvent themselves from the ground up.

Maybe it won't be too late.


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

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