Television programming has arrived as a staple of many retailers' video offerings.
While it takes a commitment to DVD sell-through to take full advantage of this trend, those that do can tap growing consumer demand with an increasing supply put out by the studios.
"Television-themed DVDs are doing extremely well in those locations where we merchandise them prominently," said Chuck Porter, director, video and entertainment, Giant Eagle, Pittsburgh.
While the overall DVD market is seeing low single-digit growth, TV on DVD product is increasing 20% and is now 8.6% of the DVD market, according to the NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y. In addition, 35% of consumers responding to a NPD study said they are buying more TV on DVD product than last year.
"If retailers can offer these sections with the same dedication, assortment and presentation that they give to veggies or gourmet coffee, you will see consumers become more responsive to buying front-line, full-price DVD at supermarkets," said Russ Crupnick, vice president and senior industry analyst, NPD.
"As we continue to improve the in-store merchandising for television-themed DVDs, I see enormous growth potential," Porter said.
"Supermarkets that merchandise and promote TV on DVD will continue to experience success in the category," said Bill Bryant, vice president of sales for distributor Ingram Entertainment, La Vergne, Tenn.
All genres of TV on DVD product do well, said Sean Bersell, vice president, public affairs, Entertainment Merchants Association, Encino, Calif. "We see TV on DVD, with its built-in consumer awareness, as an excellent product for the supermarket. On average, there are approximately 10 multi-disc sets of TV on DVD released every week. That presents a tremendous opportunity to continually put new choices in front of the supermarket consumer."
Mark Fisher, the association's vice president of membership and strategic initiatives, noted that TV on DVD product could succeed in supermarkets if treated as a continuity promotion.
For many retailers, the higher price points of multi-disk sets and relatively lower profile compared to hit movies are a hindrance to sales.
Stores supplied by Video Management Co., Tacoma, Wash., do well selling budget-priced product. "We sell tons of that stuff, either $1.99 or $2.99, and a lot of $4.99 VHS and $5.99 DVD.," said Greg Rediske, president. Meanwhile premium cable programming, like "The Sopranos," does best for rentals, he said.
"All of the HBO-type series have always done well" for rent, said Bob Gettner, video buyer/coordinator, B&R Stores, Lincoln, Neb. Newer releases of TV product do best, he said.
TV on DVD is also a hit-and-miss segment at Harp's Food Stores, Springdale, Ark., said Craig Hill, video specialist. "We haven't had a whole lot of luck with it, so we're not into it very heavily," he said. However, some series, like "CSI" and "Laguna Beach," have done well, he noted.
DVD rental kiosk provider Redbox Automated Retail, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., is testing a TV on DVD offering right now, said Greg Waring, vice president, marketing. "It is certainly something that our customers have asked for."