Up front is the best place for video, whether rental or sell-through, said executives at SN's second-annual video roundtable. "I don't know of many stores that are successful long-term in video that hide it in the back corner. I've seen it, but I've seen them die," said David Ingram, vice president of major accounts/special markets at Ingram Entertainment, La Vergne, Tenn. All of the retailers at the roundtable put their departments in the front or near the front. But one said it doesn't matter much where in the front it is. "With both chains that we do business with, we have questioned should it be on the left or the right, where they first come in or at the end of the shopping pattern? But we have found that if you make a nice presentation, the customer adapts," said Steve Berns, president and chief executive officer of SVI (Supermarket Video Inc.), Encino, Calif. "They are shopping in there 2.3 times a week," said Berns. "You can put it in the front or put it on the side. As long as it's a nice department, they'll find it. The quality of the department is more important than where it is logistically in the store."
it in the front or put it on the side. As long as it's a nice department, they'll find it. They don't care whether it's where they first come in or after they've finished checking out. The quality of the department is more important than where it is logistically in the store. FINCHER: What has your experience been, Sharon? STAGNER: All of our departments in supermarkets are tied to the service counters and are always in the front of the store, either to the right or to the left. Traditionally, we've always thought that traffic flowed to the right, but we've found that it's split up. They go whichever way and it really does not make any difference. Maybe that reinforces that theory of video being a destination shopping area. SCHAFER: A question I have is how to get sell-through product on those point-of-purchase racks right on the cash register. Stores that are trying it seem to even increase their catalog sell-through that much more. MUELDENER: It's not that easy. You've got money coming in from the various vendors who buy that spot -- candy companies, cigarette companies, pop companies. Everybody asks, "What's it going to take?" What it comes down to is, "Write us a check, and we'll let you have it for a week." SEVERINSEN: Grocery stores are historically territorial about their space. Often, that's what makes it so difficult to execute cross-promotions. In my experience, that even makes it hard to put product outside the video department. SCHAFER: So what if we wanted to bring in exercise tapes on a free-standing rack, and put in a space away from what is already being occupied by the magazines and the candy? MUELDENER: Unfortunately, it gets back to the point that if there is a space, it's been paid for. It's not like we have open 4-foot sections sitting there.
PIERCE: In the chain I shop in locally, which has never really been into video, they now have a freestanding rack on wheels. It's a mixture, a strange collection of catalog product, and a handful of Disney product. But you can find this rack at any point in the store. It just makes its way around the store and it doesn't seem to work.