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West Coast to Trade Used DVDs

22 Jun, 2001 By: Joan Villa

Four months after owner Mark Jasperson purchased the remainder of Philadelphia-based West Coast Entertainment, the new c.e.o. is launching a used DVD trade-in program and beefing up VHS and DVD rental units withinventory from his other business, Video One Liquidators in Tampa, Fla.

Out of 300,000 tapes, games and DVDs in Video One’s inventory, drawn fromliquidating hundreds of video stores in the past few years, Jasperson says he is pulling 10% to 15% back into his 56 West Coast stores to bolster the chain’s image as “the movie buff’s movie store.”

“We’re trying to create efficiencies between the two companies,” Jaspersonexplains.

Part of that cross-pollination includes bringing in more previously viewedVHS, DVD and games, while backfilling rare and eclectic rental titles. Afterreturning from a nine-day, 8,000-mile trip to evaluate the unique merchandising challenges of each location, Jasperson says he is“substantially changing layouts of one-third of the stores.” In all stores he will create additional space for more previously viewed and new release sales, most likely positioned as impulse buys in front of the registers.

The DVD trade-in program will launch in early July, giving customers a $4 to $8 credit against other product, followed by a similar game-trading program in three months.

Used DVDs “will provide the largest incremental revenue without cannibalizing any other income,” Jasperson says. At first, the previouslyviewed product will come from Video One and each store’s own new release wall, but “as we trade with customers we’ll enhance our selection and extend our inventory,” following a model similar to Wherehouse Entertainment, hesays.

The Torrance, Calif.-based Wherehouse, with 410 stores, has for about six months offered its customers a three-for-one DVD trade-in program modeled after its longstanding five-for-one CD program, confirms Brian Hodge,director of used product. To prevent customer dissatisfaction from defects,a 30-day guarantee covers each DVD.

The used DVDs “stimulate that whole relationship between the consumer and us,” Hodge explains. Wherehouse also enhances selection with outside inventory taken from liquidations. Both chains are trying to appeal to thebroadest customer base with diverse profit centers that all contribute to the bottom line. “It’s a balancing act,” Hodge says.

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