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Why Won't Indies Swallow Subs?

13 Sep, 2004 By: Stephanie Prange

Now that Hollywood has followed Blockbuster, officially jumping on the subscription bandwagon by quietly launching its Movie Value Pass, and Movie Gallery is talking about its 70-store test of the same model, you'd think independent retailers would be poised to join their bigger counterparts.

But a recent Video Store Magazine online poll found most (72 percent) of respondents had decided not to install a subscription model in their stores. Frankly, I find that astounding.

Many say the economics of the subscription model are not as profitable as the traditional a la carte model, but if the big guys are doing it, how can other video stores fail to follow suit?

Independents have been riding the wave of lower-then-ever-priced cost of goods with DVD as well as the previously viewed disc juggernaut (one retailer I know said it was like printing money). Can the good times last? Or will indies find they are behind the times by not looking to subscriptions to satisfy their customers? Few businesses can survive by resting on their laurels.

I'd be interested to see what readers, especially indies, think about the growing subscription model. Drop me a line at my e-mail address above.

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