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Kiosk Company Touts Free Rentals

10 Nov, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf

The New Release (TNR) kiosk company is looking to grab new fans for its $1-per-night vending machine service.

TNR is offering a free night's rental for shoppers at 291 supermarkets in Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Renters will get the first night free when they rent a title from a TNR machine located at select Kroger/King Sooper, H-E-B, Publix, City Market, Super Fresh and A&P stores.

“[It's] a perfect introduction to what more than a million customers have already discovered — renting the most-popular current DVD releases can be painless, essentially adding it to your grocery list and avoiding separate trips to another location to rent and return, and eliminating expensive late fees,” said Tony Sciolla, chief marketing officer for TNR Entertainment Corp.

Each TNR machine holds up to 1,000 units of about 200 titles, and stock is updated weekly.

It's important for TNR to spread the word about the convenience and low cost of its service as the company expands nationally, Sciolla said. He joined the company last month to help ramp up those expansion plans.

In September, TNR announced it will add 1,300 new rental machines in 25 markets across the country during the next six months, primarily through an expanded partnership with The Kroger Co., one of the nation's largest grocery chains. The company also secured $45 million from MCG Capital Corp. to support expansion plans.

The Houston-based company has rented 5 million DVDs in the past four years with 600 locations in grocery chains A&P, Food Lion, H-E-B, Kroger/King Sooper, Publix, Roundy's/Pick ‘N Save, Safeway/Randall's and Spartan/Family Fare. TNR machines service about 200,000 customers monthly, according to the company.

Meanwhile, competitor Redbox, which has machines at McDonald's, also is expanding. Next year, Redbox plans to add 3,000 new machines, another 3,000 in 2008, and a total of 20,000 to 25,000 in the domestic and international markets during the next five years.

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