In many retailers' eyes, the big event in the fourth quarter will be the face-off between "Jurassic Park" and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." If SN's random poll is any indication, retailers are betting that Disney's dwarfs will win out over Spielberg's dinosaurs, but not by much.
ouple of winners," he said.
" 'Snow White' is a family title, and that's all you really need to say about it," said Carl Johnson, video specialist at Harp's Food Stores, Springdale, Ark. "Since we're a grocery chain, it's just a natural pull," he said.
"I think 'Jurassic Park' is going to be big, but not as big as 'Snow White,' " said Lannie McDaniel, general merchandise buyer at Horner Foods, Tulsa, Okla. " 'Jurassic Park' is not something you would take your whole family to, while 'Snow White' attracts a wider range of age groups," he said.
Disney's moratorium policy, by which its biggest animated movies are only available for a short time, will contribute to "Snow White" doing better than "Jurassic Park," noted Bill Glaseman, video specialist at Bashas' Markets, Chandler, Ariz. "We're gearing up for both to be big, but if I were to make a guess, I think 'Snow White' will probably do best," he said.
Food Giant Supermarkets, Sikeston, Mo., also is getting ready for both titles to do well, said Tim Harrison, video supervisor. "It is kind of a toss-up at the moment, but 'Jurassic Park' is going to be real strong coming out of the gate, while 'Snow White' will be a more substantial, steady sort of title," he said.
Goff Food Stores, Haslett, Mich., has ordered the same quantities of both titles, said Shirley Decker, video buyer. As to which will do better, "I'm leaning toward 'Jurassic Park,' only because it is going to be cheaper, but everybody wants a Disney collection. So it may be a toss-up. You have a lot of people who will want to buy 'Snow White' for their kids, and people who don't have kids who will buy 'Jurassic Park,' " she said.
"Jurassic Park" has a higher profile with the consuming public right now, "but 'Snow White' is going to be a real sleeper and probably will outsell it," said Gary Schloss, vice president of general merchandise at Carr Gottstein Foods, Anchorage, Alaska. "As much money as Disney is putting behind 'Snow White' to advertise it, it's going to be big," he said.
Disney's moratorium policy has resulted in a situation where retailers almost can't order too much of a hit animated feature from Disney, providing they have a place to inventory the tapes, said Schloss. "What doesn't sell this year will surely sell next year when it goes on moratorium," he said.
"Last year we bought multiple copies of 'Pinocchio' and 'Aladdin' before they went on moratorium. We will be featuring them this year at Christmas and no one else will have them," said Schloss.
A specialty store in Harp's trading area is selling copies of "Cinderella," which hasn't been on the market for many years, for $79.98, said Johnson. "When any Disney title comes out, I pick up extra titles so that, in the future when it's unavailable, I can still get it for customers," he said.
But that didn't work out as well with "Fantasia" as for other Disney Classics, Johnson noted. "I'm still sitting on quite a few copies of 'Fantasia.' You need to make sure that you order just the right amount and you don't get stuck with too much," he said.
"But if I had 300 to 400 copies of 'Lady and the Tramp' right now, they'd be gone in probably three days," he said.