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Hollywood Video Starts Trading

13 Jun, 2005 By: Holly J. Wagner

Most Hollywood Entertainment Corp. stores are giving customers store credit for their used movies and games as of Sunday, June 12.

The chain will give an average of $3 in store credit for accepted DVD titles and 50 cents for VHS. Credit is good for buying or renting anything in the stores, including gift cards. Blockbuster Inc. pays about $5 per title in store credit — more for some hot new releases.

Customers are limited to 25 titles at a time. The chain's newsletter said Hollywood will accept 20,000 titles and claims that figure is higher than competitors. Like the other chains, Hollywood does not buy ‘NC-17' or adult titles.

As far back as February 2004, well before bidding on Hollywood Entertainment resulted in a merger, Movie Gallery executives had said they were testing a trading model. The chain's 2004 annual report said Movie Gallery had opened 60 “Trade Zones” in Movie Gallery stores to test the concept.

“We believe that trading could become an important revenue generator,” chairman and CEO Joe Malugen wrote in a letter to shareholders.

Blockbuster began testing used trades as early as late 2002, with its purchase of The Movie Trading Co.

By February it was testing trades in Blockbuster stores. As it expanded The Movie Trading Co. brand from 11 to nearly 50 stores, Blockbuster rolled out the trading concept under the Big Blue banner with its “Big DVD Trade-In” campaign for the 2003 holiday season. By 2005, trading was offered in 2,000 stores, with a goal of nearly all Blockbuster stores offering it.

Other chains, including Musicland and Trans World brands, GameStop and Electronics Boutique, also let consumers sell or trade discs.

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