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Stores Pushing <I>Kill Bill Vol. 1</I> to Make a Killing in Sales

17 Apr, 2004 By: Brendan Howard

Online retailer DVDPlanet.com has just one brick-and-mortar location — in Huntington Beach, Calif. — but it's got the same inventory questions as any hundredfold chain. When one customer asked for Anchor Bay's special edition of George Romero's Day of the Dead, a clerk found five copies listed in the store's inventory, but none on shelves or in the back. Anchor Bay's new Dawn of the Dead release was well-stocked.

The big release of the week, however — Kill Bill Vol. 1 — was everywhere, with two teen girls at a Best Buy in Westminster, Calif., making a bee-line for the merchandiser.

Best Buy offered a “2 for $20” deal for Kill Bill ($15.99 on sale) and Reservoir Dogs ($9.99 on sale). Quentin Tarantino's other films, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, were advertised in circulars but not prominently displayed at the location.

Fry's Electronics, just a few miles from the Best Buy, offered a one-per-customer $15.99 deal on Kill Bill through April 15.

DVDPlanet.com, Best Buy and Fry's all had plenty of copies of the sci-fi actioner Timeline. The three locations stocked widescreen and full-screen copies, which are tagged only by a different word in the banner on the front of the box.

It seems some customers are surprisingly on top of DVD releases nowadays. One middle-aged woman on her cell phone was describing the offerings that day: “Is there anything good here? It's the same,” she said, indicating she'd wait to buy. “The Last Samurai comes out May 4.” (There was no signage for The Last Samurai in the Best Buy location or circulars.)

Proving she wasn't all about DVD sellthrough, she explained to her phone friend another reason she was holding off: “I've got two movies to watch that I've gotta return today.”

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