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Redbox Gets Ahold of Stop & Shop

25 Jan, 2006 By: Holly J. Wagner

Automated DVD rental company Redbox has struck a deal with Ahold that will put Redbox DVD kiosks in more than 400 Stop & Shop supermarkets and Giant Food stores throughout the Northeastern United States staring in March.

The deal will increase Redbox's footprint by 50 percent, adding to the 800 machines already offering $1-a-night rentals in eight United States markets. Ahold's Stop & Shop Supermarket Company operates 563 stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. By June 80 percent of those stores will have Redboxes, pushing the company into a half-dozen new markets where it does not have a McDonald's foothold.

The agreement follows a 12-month test in 12 Stop & Shop and Giant stores.

“We are very pleased with the success of Redbox in our Hartford and Baltimore markets,” said Bill Cummings, EVP of operations for Stop & Shop/Giant. “The quick, self-service transaction and $1-per-night price point make it a perfect fit for our customers' busy lifestyles.”

Since its wide-scale rollout last April, Redbox has been growing by leaps and bounds. The majority-owned McDonald's subsidiary started with 109 McDonald's restaurants in the Denver area and expanded to more than 800 locations in eight markets, some of which overlap the Stop & Shop markets.

In November Coinstar, famous for its green change-converting machines in supermarkets, bought a 47 percent stake in the company and pledged to use its relationships with grocers to widen the Redbox network.

Redbox reached another milestone in December, when it logged 1.1 million rentals for the month. The company has done more than 7 million rentals nationwide since the rollout.

The machines hold about 500 discs and carry 50 to 60 new release titles. New titles are added on street date to keep stock current. Rentals are $1 a night and consumers can rent from one machine and return the disc at another location, even in another city.

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