BASHAS' TO KEEP LOW-PRICE FOCUS ON MEGAFOODS VIDEO RENTALS

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Bashas' here will maintain the low-priced video rental program in 14 of the 16 Megafoods stores it acquired last month and will boost their new release selection, said Bill Glaseman, video specialist.Bashas' also will open its fourth live-inventory video department in a new store in Tempe Feb. 26, he said. The store-within-a-store section will have an inventory of about 3,000 tapes

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Bashas' here will maintain the low-priced video rental program in 14 of the 16 Megafoods stores it acquired last month and will boost their new release selection, said Bill Glaseman, video specialist.

Bashas' also will open its fourth live-inventory video department in a new store in Tempe Feb. 26, he said. The store-within-a-store section will have an inventory of about 3,000 tapes and will be similar to the retailer's existing live departments, he said.

"This points to the fact that Bashas' is as committed as ever to video rental, and maybe even more so," said Glaseman.

The Megafoods departments all feature nonlive merchandising, with 2,000 to 2,500 tapes and typical rental rates of $1.49 for new releases and 59 cents for catalog, depending on local competition, he said. Bashas' nonlive departments range from 700 to 2,500 tapes, with rental rates of $2.49 for new releases and 99 cents for catalog, again depending on competition.

The Megafoods stores will continue to operate under the same name and the video rental program will remain the same, "at least for the time being," said Glaseman. Megafoods video departments are bigger than most Bashas' rental sections, he noted. "They are larger and they are very well run. But we have to bring the new releases up to speed, and we are doing that now," he said.

Megafoods' ability to buy new releases was hindered during the financially troubled time leading up to the acquisition by Bashas', he said. Glaseman is bringing depth of copy up to the levels prior to this time and replenishing December and January titles. When Bashas' gets more experience running the stores, Glaseman said, he will fine-tune quantities for individual stores, but for now all are getting the same number of copies.

"We also are cleaning out some of the older titles to bring everything up to what we feel would be of more current appeal to their customers," he said.

"We expect really good things from the stores. It's a matter of increasing the store traffic, and we feel that they are going to do very, very well," he said.

The Megafoods departments have a different video point-of-sale computer system, he noted. "I'm just getting into that right now. But everybody there is extremely cooperative and they are very anxious to do well, and we are anxious to help them do well," he said.

It is too early to say how the Megafoods video rental departments might be changed, or if Bashas' video program might be influenced by Megafoods' low-priced strategy, he said.