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TK's MORNING BUZZ: When Mass Merchants Price DVDs So Cheaply, They Truly Become an Impulse Buy

16 Nov, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

I've just seen the cheapest big-name DVD yet.

It was at Wal-Mart, tonight. I went there for a big story I'm working on about mass merchants and video, based on Video Store Magazine's latest mass merchant study, an ambitious project conducted under the auspices of our own Judith McCourt, market research director.

Wal-Mart had a big rack of budget-priced DVDs up front, just before you get to the electronics section. There were dozens of great titles, from The Net and Meatballs to Spies Like Us and Stigmata, selling for $9.44.

And one title, Artisan's Young Guns, priced at just $7.96.

Coincidentally, I just watched the tail end of that movie on TV a few days ago. I liked the part I saw, and resolved to pick up a DVD, should the opportunity present itself, to feed what appears to be a growing appetite for Westerns, old and new.

I would have spent $15 for it, and here it was, for less than $8.

As I packed it away in my cart, along with a box of Atkins bars and a King Palm for a landscaping project I'm working on, I realized what a great thing these mass merchants have going on.

By pricing DVDs so cheaply, they truly become an impulse buy -- and if my "buy" impulse was triggered by a TV showing of an obscure Western, just think about all the free advertising Wal-Mart and the other mass merchants are getting for their catalog product.

I remember back in the days when retailers would cringe when a movie got shown on TV. It would kill business, they say.

Perhaps that was, and still is, true -- if I see a movie on TV, unless I only snag a portion of it, I probably wouldn't be inclined to rent it.

But buy it, to own it and keep it and add it to my collection, well, that's another story -- as long as the price is right.

And eight bucks is certainly the right price.

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

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