MINNEAPOLIS -- Some retailers are testing DVD rentals, but with a lack of installed hardware units the new technology is moving slowly so far.
Nash Finch Co. here is testing a kiosk from PolyGram Video, New York, featuring hardware and software rentals, in two stores, said Clifford Feiock, video coordinator. The test has been running about 10 weeks, he said.
"Although it hasn't done much for us yet, we haven't given up on the concept because it is very early in the life span of that category," he said. "But we will probably watch it closely before we expand it to any additional stores."
Feiock added that he hopes to see improvement in the holiday selling season as more DVD players are sold, and as better software titles reach the market.
Reasor's in Tahlequah, Okla., also is testing DVD in one store and demonstrating the technology on a 27-inch monitor, said Dennis Maxwell, video director. "We don't have a lot of demand for it yet, but the main reason I put it in was to be the first in our market.
"I anticipate this Christmas will be a turning point, where people will go out and buy the players."
Once the DVD titles start renting more frequently, Maxwell said, Reasor's will consider rolling the test out to other stores.
Video Games Sales
May Hit High Score
WASHINGTON -- With a strong fourth-quarter product selection, the video- and computer-game business is likely to top $5 billion this year, an all-time high, according to the Interactive Digital Software Association here. Game sales were up 35.7% for the first nine months of 1997 over 1996.
"This holiday season will be exceptional, not just for the booming sales but for the array of games appealing to all ages, genders and interests," said Douglas Lowenstein.
Game users are almost evenly divided between consumers under 18 and those over 18, and women now account for one-third of the most frequent users of interactive entertainment, Lowenstein noted.
To highlight the industry's range of offerings, IDSA has published its first "Consumer's Guide to Holiday Hits." Divided into categories like "Action," "Sports," "Girl's Games" and "Simulation," the list includes the platform the titles are available for, the publisher and the titles' ratings as issued by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.
Top 10 Supermarket Video Rental Titles
Title (Weeks Out) Studio Retail Last Week
1The Lost World (1) Universal $22.98 New
2Batman & Robin (3) Warner $22.98 1
3Liar Liar (7) Universal $22.98 2
4Jingle All the Way (2) Fox $19.98 3
5The Fifth Element (2) Columbia $107.11 4
6Breakdown (4) Paramount $103.92 5
7Austin Powers (3) New Line $105.52 6
8Volcano (7) Fox $103.91 7
9Anaconda (5) Columbia $107.11 8
10The Saint (8) Paramount $103.91 9
The chart at right, tailored for the supermarket video market, is based on information taken from more than 1,000 supermarket rental locations serviced by Ingram Entertainment, La Vergne, Tenn.