DVDS TAKE FLIGHT IN BASHAS' STORES

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- DVD is taking off on all fronts for Bashas' here.The retailer is testing special racking in two stores, while increasing the percentage of DVD product it brings in for sell-through and rental, said Bill Glaseman, video specialist. "I'm putting in a larger quantity of DVDs than what I did previously. The studios also seem to be noticing this increase in sales because their mixed

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- DVD is taking off on all fronts for Bashas' here.

The retailer is testing special racking in two stores, while increasing the percentage of DVD product it brings in for sell-through and rental, said Bill Glaseman, video specialist. "I'm putting in a larger quantity of DVDs than what I did previously. The studios also seem to be noticing this increase in sales because their mixed [DVD and VHS] shippers now have more DVDs than in the past," he said.

The recent release of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was a good example of how the video sell-through business is trending, Glaseman said. While a few pieces of VHS remained after two weeks, the DVD version of the title sold out completely. "It was a very successful program for both formats, but the DVDs really blew out and we have replenished some stores with additional quantities of DVDs based on their requests," he said.

"As a lot of people have predicted, DVD is going to get stronger. My guess is that by Christmas 2003, DVD will be by far the predominant format," he said.

While Bashas' sells DVDs and VHS new releases in all stores, it has been testing special racking in two stores since February, Glaseman said. One is a floor rack with three sides located near the entrance to the video rental department. The other is a spinner rack placed on the service center counter.

The test started slowly, and sales from the fixtures are now starting to pick up, Glaseman said. The test will continue until the results are more conclusive, he said.

The retailer tried selling budget product for $11.98, but found that the major new releases sold much better, he said. "I thought the DVD buyer would want to start by filling in older titles for their library, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Their interest is in the newer product," he said.

Previously viewed DVD titles culled from the rental inventory are priced at $4.95, the same as VHS tapes, "and they sell right out," Glaseman said.

In rental, Bashas' is now stocking about 30% DVD to 70% VHS. "Our DVD rentals have been increasing each month," he said.

"We have increased DVD rental inventory continually, and we are reducing our VHS catalog items. We are not trying to cut out VHS, but we are making more room for the new releases on DVD," Glaseman said.