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Trans World Bows ‘Naruto’ Anime Promotion

23 Apr, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel


Trans World Entertainment Corp., parent of the f.y.e. (For Your Entertainment) retail chain, is offering a free “Naruto Shippuden” DVD sampler to customers who purchase $20 worth of the popular anime title’s related merchandise in select stores.

The Albany, N.Y.-based retailer, which is trying ramp up marketing efforts targeting video gamers, inked the promotion with San Francisco-based Viz Media.

First introduced in Japan in 1999, “Naruto” became that country’s most popular ninja anime fare targeting tweens and teens and has sold more than 85 million copies to date.

“The free sampler disc, which includes the entire first episode of ‘Naruto Shippuden,’ is an ideal introduction to the newest story arc,” said Gonzalo Ferreyra, VP of sales and product marketing for VIZ Media.

Trans World and Viz in 2007 partnered for the three-disc DVD deluxe edition of Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow.

Previous “Naruto Shippuden” episodes are available for free at www.Naruto.com and through a variety of other web-based, video-streaming outlets, including Joost and Hulu.

Trans World, which posted a quarterly net loss of $9.4 million in the most recent quarter, generated $75 million in game revenue at only about 50% of its 750 stores, or just 8% of total sales.

“It represents a tremendous opportunity to increase sales and profit,” said founder and CEO Robert Higgins in an analyst call last month.


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