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Blockbuster Tinkers With Movie Trading

12 Apr, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

Blockbuster Video is making a few changes at the Movie Trading Company, including a Web site upgrade and plans to try the concept in new markets.

Blockbuster, which bought Movie Trading Company late last year, is overhauling its Web site, although the redesign was a surprise to Movie Trading Company employees at several of its 15 locations. “The work that is going on is to enhance the look and feel of the site. There may be some new features, but nothing is finalized yet,” a Blockbuster spokesperson said.

Movie Trading Company buys used titles from consumers as well as selling and renting used titles.

Along with the new Web site, Blockbuster is preparing to launch three new Movie Trading Company stores in the Atlanta area in the second quarter and is readying a new store near Blockbuster's Dallas headquarters.

The maneuvers reflect a shift in Blockbuster's focus to capitalize on the fast-growing used-disc trade, the spokesperson said.

A retail consultant also said Blockbuster is moving forward with game stores-within-stores “as fast as they can get them open,” because the existing in-store game units have been so successful. “They are trying to migrate themselves in the minds of the consumer away from buying or renting to being an entertainment channel. However you choose to be entertained, they want to be the conduit for that,” the consultant said.

Blockbuster moved to color-coded store decors in late 2002, shortly after announcing the “Rent it! Like it! Buy it!” program, which gives members a discount on buying a disc they have rented. “Rent it! Like it! Buy it! confused consumers,” the consultant said, so the chain moved to color blocking in stores, using blue signs for rental sections, red for sellthrough and purple for Latino sections in stores that have them.

The chain continues testing new concepts, but has backed away from food plug-ins like two in-store pizza shops the chain tried in Dallas, the spokesperson said.

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