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Trans World, Circuit City Cut Blu-ray, HD DVD Prices

1 Apr, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Eager to make a statement in the burgeoning Blu-ray movie market, Trans World Entertainment Corp.'s subsidiary F.Y.E. is offering select new BD titles at prices more than 30% below competing retailers.

Discounts depend on consumers being members of F.Y.E.'s Backstage Pass frequent buyer program and sending in for rebates.

Notable titles include Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment's Enchanted, which listed below $17 at its March 18 street date, compared to $23 to $24 at Best Buy, Amazon and Wal-Mart.

The price has now risen to $23.99 for Backstage members.

“Now that the format war is over, pricing and promotion will be one of the strategies we will use going forward,” said Barry Burmaster, director of marketing with Albany, N.Y.-based Trans World.

At the same time, Circuit City Stores Inc. began blowing out its remaining inventory of HD DVD movies in earnest with prices 50% below SRP, with the exception of Shrek the Third and Beowulf.

No. 1 CE retailer Best Buy Corp. last week began the trend by discounting HD DVD movies 50% with some stores removing titles from store shelves completely.

Richmond, Va.-based No. 2 consumer electronics Circuit City also offered Toshiba's HD-A3 player with 1080i output for $99, which includes movies The Bourne Identity and 300.

Earlier this month, consumers had to send in for a $50 rebate on the player to get the same price.

Circuit City earlier this month said it would offer trade-in options for HD DVD players.

Spokesperson Jim Babb last month said the retailer was beginning its clearance of HD DVD product with staffers emphasizing the up-converting capabilities of Toshiba's players.

“[HD DVD players] are still very good DVD players,” Babb said.

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