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Wal-Mart Enlists Technology Help for Video Department

9 Jun, 2003 By: Jessica Wolf

A Costa Mesa, Calif., Wal-Mart has a nifty new device for video shoppers who may need a little extra help making a buying decision.

A recently installed scanner hangs off one new-release shelf, and a large TV set is mounted directly above. Video shoppers can grab any VHS or DVD from the new release wall, run the bar code on the packaging past the scanner and the trailer for the movie they're holding plays on the TV above them. After the trailer, text screens with cast and synopsis info pop up, along with advertisements for other products like Bounty paper towels and the Mach 3 razor. More ads run between trailer screenings.

It wasn't hard to find those new releases last week at this particular location; nearly all were on a studio display of some kind -- The Fast and The Furious Tricked Out Edition DVD even came shrinkwrapped with a toy car for Wal-Mart shoppers. But prices were hard to come by last week. Most of the week's new releases were not stickered with prices the day after street, and the store did not have its usual “low price” signs touting first-week deals posted throughout the section.

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