Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Mass Marketers Reduce Prices on Home Videos

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Mass Marketers Reduce Prices on Home Videos

Article excerpt

By David Tobenkin

Los Angeles Daily News

LOS ANGELES _ If the millions who flocked to theaters to see "Wayne's World" had waited a little longer, they could have owned a copy of the movie for little more than the price of admission.

The recent slashing of the home video's price from $17.99 to $9.99 by Target Stores is just the latest example of mass merchandisers cutting video prices to entice consumers into their stores.

"Video is one of the mass merchandisers' favorite trafficilding devices," said Paul Sweeting, executive editor of New Yorksed Video Software Magazine. "They are easy to use in advertising. You just show a picture of the video and the low price under it."

Nearly all of this year's video releases have been priced at or slightly below $16 by at least some mass merchandisers, said Frank Moldstad, editor of Santa Ana, Calif.-based Video Store Magazine.

The price cuts are a problem for independent video retailers who cannot match the big retailers on lossader or marginally profitable items.

"It's a very sore thumb for a lot of retailers," said John Cooper, owner of Starlight Roof Classic American Music and Video in the Los Angelesea city of South Pasadena. "Even though you may be offering a discount from the suggested price, the customer walks into your store, compares the price to what's offered by the mass marketers and they think you are trying to cheat them."

The pressure to price more videos at or below cost may increase in the next several months, as a record number of home videos priced for sale to the public will elbow each other for space on retail shelves.

Hits such as "Beauty and the Beast," "Batman Returns," "Beethoven," and "Lethal Weapon 3" are among the releases scheduled for sale this fall and winter.

"When you see the big titles come out at a discount, you definitely feel it in your sales," said another retailer, Dino Everett, manager of 20/20 Video in the Los Angeles area of Studio City. …

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