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Wal-Mart Stocking Bins With Dollar DVDs

13 Sep, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

Wal-Mart stores have begun stocking $1 DVDs in bins outside the video area from a supplier named Digiview, which offers public domain movies, cartoons and TV show episodes.

“Kids might buy it. If I saw a Durango Kid or Lash Larue, I would probably pick it up,” said industry analyst Dennis McAlpine.

That assessment appears to be on target, if posts on bargain hunting Web site www.Fatwallet.com are any indication. Although Wal-Mart is not the first chain to offer $1 DVDs — several 99-cent discount store chains offer similar deals — it is surely the largest. And customers are noticing.

“The Wal-Mart near me (Maryland) had DVDs for one dollar. They were all public domain stuff, but for a dollar, who cares? I haven't watched them yet, but the packaging is great,” wrote one poster.

Other titles range from the 1939 Fleischer brothers cartoon of Gulliver's Travels to their early “Popeye” cartoons to multiepisode discs of “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “The Andy Griffith Show” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” to Jack Nicholson's first marquee film, the 1963 Gothic horror tale The Terror, which also starred Boris Karloff.

A Digiview employee said employees were barred from talking with the media as a condition of employment, but promised to refer a reporter's call to management. No one from Digiview returned a phone call. The company's Web site, www.digiviewus.com, is a front door with e-mail links and the company address in New Jersey. Government records indicate the company filed for a trademark in April, but further data was not immediately available.

The disc packaging says they are made in Taiwan and are region-free.

Wal-Mart declined to give any specifics about the titles or who is buying them.

“The questions you're asking appear to be ones that we typically don't answer as they are competitor-sensitive, deal with sales, demographics or strategies,” a Wal-Mart spokesperson said. “I can tell you that these selections appear to be popular with our customers since we recently began offering them.”

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