BOISE, Idaho -- The three-unit Shaver's supermarket chain here has found that a price promotion that ties sell-through and rental seems to produce the best results for promoting the sales of children's video.
The chain has been offering sell-through and rental in all three of its stores for about 10 years, and has tried a host of different promotions to encourage children's video transactions, according to president Dennis Shaver, who handles all the video purchasing for the stores himself.
"On the sell-through side, about the only thing we do that works well with kids is that with any sell-through movie, you get four free rentals," he said.
Thus, when customers buy a popular kids' title at $19.99, they can save $10 on rentals, making their "net cost" on the videos just $9.99.
"It makes a good merchandising tool to buy the sell-through and the kids get excited -- and frankly, mom and dad do, too."
Another promotion geared toward kids that works in one of the Shaver's stores is making kids' rentals good for the whole weekend when they are taken out on Fridays. Traditional movie rentals are for one night only.
"That way the kids are not under pressure," he said. "They like to watch it three or four times, sometimes right in a row."
Other promotions Shaver has tried include offering a free children's video rental for the weekend with the rental of any new release.
To spur impulse rentals of children's movies, Shaver said each of the stores has a monitor where the store plays either a children's or a family movie.
"We do that for a couple of reasons," he said. "One is so that we don't have a love scene from 'Jerry McGuire' or something. The other is that if people come into the video department looking for something, and the kid looks up and sees a kids' video on, they start begging mom and dad real quick for it."
The stores group all the children's sell-through and rental in one area of the video section that is separate from the mainstream titles, near the checkout counter.
He said he hasn't had much luck with cross-promotional programs for children's video.
"We tend to have a difficult time coordinating information from the studios about cross promotions," he said. "We have to do it ourselves."
When cross promoting other products with video, he pointed out, "we find it's much better to bring merchandise into the video department than the other way around.
"I think there's tremendous opportunity to cross merchandise," he added. "We just haven't been able to do it."