CHAINS STILL BIG IN RENTALS, BUT RANKINGS SHIFT

NEW YORK -- Supermarkets again placed high on a list of the top rental retailers in the country, but there were significant changes in the rankings. Twenty-three supermarket chains were on the listing of the Top 96 rental chains printed in the March issue of Video Software Magazine, published by Chilton Publications, a sister company of Fairchild Publications, which publishes SN. The study, conducted

NEW YORK -- Supermarkets again placed high on a list of the top rental retailers in the country, but there were significant changes in the rankings. Twenty-three supermarket chains were on the listing of the Top 96 rental chains printed in the March issue of Video Software Magazine, published by Chilton Publications, a sister company of Fairchild Publications, which publishes SN. The study, conducted by Chilton Research Services, was based on 52,000 telephone interviews with consumers in 1995.

Kroger, Cincinnati, and Albertson's, Boise, Idaho, placed in the Top 10.

In the past, the ranking had listed different banners operated by retailers, but this year banners were combined under the corporate parent, said Mark Papia, publisher and research director for Video Software Magazine. The biggest changes among the supermarket players on the list were Wal-Mart Supercenters, moving from 84th in 1994 to 24th in 1995, and IGA, Chicago, which jumped from 81st to 17th. Wal-Mart is now ninth among stores that also sell food, while IGA is seventh. IGA's move is probably due to the change in ranking methodology, and also to an increase in the number of video departments operated by IGA retailers, according to industry observers. Wal-Mart, meanwhile, nearly doubled the number of its video rental departments since early 1995.

In 1993, 21% of IGA retailers offered video rental, a number that increased to 35% in 1994, and another increase is expected for 1995, said Kevin Burkum, an IGA spokesman. There are 2,400 IGA stores in the United States, he noted. "We are serving a lot of people out there, and are renting them a lot of videos," Burkum said. As in past years, Blockbuster Video, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with 3,180 stores, was the runaway market-share leader, followed by Movie Gallery, Dothan, Ala.; Hollywood Entertainment, Portland, Ore.; West Coast Entertainment, Philadelphia, and Kroger, Cincinnati. Supermarkets are 12% of the rental market, according to the Video Software Magazine study.

THE TOP 20 Last year's ranking of supermarket programs, both among themselves (left column) and with other classes of trade (right column).

Supermarkets All classes

Only 1995 of trade

1. Kroger 5.

Cincinnati

2. Albertson's 9.

Boise, Idaho

3. Giant Eagle 11.

Pittsburgh

4. Safeway 13

Oakland, Calif.

5. Wegmans 14.

Rochester, N.Y.

6. Smith's 15.

Salt Lake City

7. IGA 17.

Chicago

8. Hy-Vee 21.

W. Des Moines, Iowa

9. Wal-Mart Supercenters 24.

Bentonville, Ark.

10. Shop 'n Save 26.

(Hannaford Bros.)

Scarborough, Maine

11. Meijer 28.

Grand Rapids, Mich.

12. Pathmark 32.

Woodbridge, N.J.

13. Furr's 36.

Albuquerque, N.M.

14. Stop & Shop 38.

Quincy, Mass.

15. Randalls 41.

Houston

16. Pick 'n Save 42.

(Roundy's)

Pewaukee, Wis.

17. Schnuck 46.

St. Louis

18. Piggly Wiggly 59.

(Schultz Sav-O)

Sheboygan, Wis.

19. H.E. Butt 63.

San Antonio

20. Price Chopper 64.

Schenectady, N.Y.

Notes: 1. King Soopers, Fry's, Dillons and City Market were listed separately in the past, but these Kroger divisions have been combined with the parent company this year. 2. Wal-Mart only puts video rental sections in its supercenters in conjunction with its supermarket offerings.

Source: Video Software Magazine