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Wal-Mart Expands Online DVD Rental Service

14 Jun, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

As Blockbuster prepares to wade into online rentals, Wal-Mart is expanding its online DVD rental service with a deeper catalog of DVD titles and new distribution centers for faster delivery.

Walmart.com now offers customers 15,000 titles in its DVD rental catalog, more than 15 times the amount carried by a local video store, but still below Netflix's 22,000-title library.

The discounter has also opened distribution centers in Atlanta; Indianapolis; Seattle; San Francisco; Las Vegas; Bentonville, Ark.; Johnstown, N.Y.; Los Angeles; Minneapolis/St. Paul and Charlotte, N.C., and plans to open two more within a month. The chain's 12 distribution points bring it to about half of Netflix's distribution strength.

The chain is still competing mainly on price. Netflix recently raised the price of its three-out subscription to $21.95 a month. Walmart.com charges $21.94 for a four-out plan, $18.76 for the three-out plan and 15.54 for the two-out plan that a spokesperson said is its most popular.

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