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Retailers Pick Their Niches for TV DVD Sets

2 Jun, 2003 By: Jessica Wolf

It was surprising to see how inconsistently the newest releases in TV DVD sets were stocked at a variety of Costa Mesa, Calif., retailers last week. Blockbuster offered none of the newest sets, though the location visited did have the releases Sex and the City: Season Three, Oz: Season One, The Osbournes: Season One and Six Feet Under: Season One in its sales racks as well as on rental shelves.

Borders only had a few sets of the Cheers first-season DVD set, but it's still the location to beat when it comes to British TV programming. The store merchandises multiple seasons of “A Fine Romance,” “The Saint,” “The Avengers” and “Upstairs Downstairs” with aplomb and in abundance.

TV DVD shoppers can usually get the best prices at Costco, but they have to act fast, because stock is rotated quickly to make room for new releases. Though there was a gaggle of Cheers and Frasier DVDs in this store last week, stock of the previous week's releases Sex and the City and Dark Angel was long gone a week after street date.

Sets of shows like “Friends,” “The Simpsons,” “The X-Files,” “The Sopranos,” “The Osbournes” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” are definitely retailers' staples in this release category. Target usually gives the newest sets some TLC on new-release endcaps before shuffling them to the store's catch-all “multidisc sets” display.

Shelftalkers at Best Buy last week promoted discounts on recent TV releases “Dawson's Creek” and “24” first-season sets. Signage on an endcap that the store devoted to the product advised shoppers: “Summer's coming, so get all your favorite TV series on DVD.”

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