WEST BEND, Wis. -- Supermarket video rental departments have bounced back quickly from a lull in business that they experienced during the Olympics, according to operators polled by SN last week.
"Whenever it snows, business is good, and we're having a snowstorm right now," said Jan Schreier, video manager, Prescott's Supermarkets here.
She said year-to-date rental revenues are up compared with last year, despite taking a hit during the Olympics. In addition to the weather, Schreier also attributed some of her stores' success to the popularity of DVD rental.
Although a cold snap embraced much of the country in the weeks following the Olympics, not all operators were fortunate enough to have their customers driven indoors by the elements.
Bill Glaseman, video specialist, Bashas' Markets, Chandler, Ariz., said sales declined predictably during the Olympics, but have since rebounded, despite the sunny skies in the Southwest.
"The year started well, then dropped off during the Olympics," he said, noting that he was looking forward to the May 28 release of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Store" on video and DVD to drive traffic.
Schreier echoed Glaseman's hopes for Potter, noting that March and April are expected to be relatively slow.
The Video Software Dealers Association, Encino, Calif., reported that rental revenues for DVD and VHS in the week ended March 3 were up about 3.6%, to $184 million, vs. year-ago results.