FOURTH VIDEO 'STORE' PUT IN PLAY BY RALPHS

COMPTON, Calif. -- Ralphs Grocery Co. here opened its fourth store-within-a-store video department this month in a new West Los Angeles supermarket.With 1,100 square feet and 4,000 tapes, the store is similar to the three other "Videos & More" departments operated in Ralphs stores by Supermarket Video, Encino, Calif., said Steve Berns, SVI's president and chief executive officer. Ralphs will add one

COMPTON, Calif. -- Ralphs Grocery Co. here opened its fourth store-within-a-store video department this month in a new West Los Angeles supermarket.

With 1,100 square feet and 4,000 tapes, the store is similar to the three other "Videos & More" departments operated in Ralphs stores by Supermarket Video, Encino, Calif., said Steve Berns, SVI's president and chief executive officer. Ralphs will add one more live inventory video rental shop by the end of the year, he said. SVI, a joint venture of Rentrak Corp., Portland, Ore., and Culture Convenience Club of Japan, operates the sections on a leased-space basis. Ralphs executives did not return calls for comment.

The video shop differs from the three others in that it is the first brand new Ralphs store that SVI has gone into; the others were existing stores, said Berns. "Since this is a new store, there is no existing customer base to build on," Berns said. "So we will promote with them and grow with them." The store, located at 11727 Olympic Blvd., is 46,000 square feet and includes several service departments, a food court area with a fresh pasta and cappuccino bar, a Natural Choices nutrition center and a Wells Fargo Bank branch with an ATM. Ralphs video shops carry video games for rent as well as sell-through videos. SVI operates four similar video sections for Riser Foods, Bedford Heights, Ohio, in the Cleveland area. Berns also is president of Entertainment One, Effingham, Ill., which operates 96 video shops in Wal-Mart Supercenters and 25 in Super Kmart Centers. Rentrak owns a majority interest in Entertainment One. Both SVI and Entertainment One use Rentrak's pay-per-transaction, shared-revenue system.