Supermarkets added kiosks of all types this year, most notably DVD rental machines.
Giant Eagle kicked off the year by testing DVD rental kiosks from Redbox Automated Retail, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., at five Pittsburgh-area GetGo convenience store locations.
In April, Wegmans Food Markets, Rochester, N.Y., began to close all of its remaining video rental departments and replace them with redbox DVD rental kiosks.
Marking the trend, by July, Giant Eagle — a widely acknowledged leader in supermarket video — said it would close its rental departments as well, putting more of an emphasis on sell-through DVDs and automated rental kiosks.
Kroger Co., Cincinnati, announced plans with TNR Entertainment Corp., Houston, to put 1,300 TNR automated DVD rental kiosks in stores. Supervalu, Eden Prairie, Minn., rolled out redbox kiosks in hundreds of locations. Over 960 Safeway stores added the kiosks from DVDPlay, San Jose, Calif. Finally, in November redbox announced having more U.S. retail locations than Blockbuster, Dallas. Meanwhile, Blockbuster said it was testing its own $1-a-night kiosks.
Other types of kiosks entered the scene in prominent ways. Delhaize Group's Bloom, Salisbury, N.C., told SN it places redbox DVD rental kiosks from redbox with photo-printing kiosks from Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto, Calif., in the front of its stores.
Vons stores of Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., began testing upscale kiosks from ZoomSystems, San Francisco, that dispense electronic items, such as iPods and digital camcorders.