Blockbuster Offers Guarantees
rtainment here is offering guaranteed availability of rental titles in three Western markets, according to a press release.
The program, which began earlier this month, involves a monthly selection of eight to 10 top new releases. If a movie is out of stock, customers are given a 30-day coupon good for a free rental of the title. Other highlights at Blockbuster include lower prices, extended rental periods, an early-return incentive and in-store courtesy phones.
"We know the biggest dissatisfier for video-rental customers is not being able to get the hot new video they want when they want it," said Blockbuster's George Williams, senior vice president of marketing.
Hollywood Reports Increased Sales
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Hollywood Entertainment has reported a 3% increase in same-store sales from 1996 to 1997. The retailer here is the second biggest and fastest-growing video-rental chain in the United States, with 907 corporately owned stores in 42 states.
The company saw total revenues increase to $500.5 million in 1997 from $302.3 million in 1996. Hollywood opened 125 new stores in the fourth quarter, for a total of 356 new stores in 1997.
Movie Gallery Expects Sales Rise
DOTHAN, Ala. -- Movie Gallery here expects strong same-store sales results in the first quarter of 1998. The video-specialty retailer said it expects same-store sales for the 13 weeks ending April 5 to increase by 6% to 9% compared with the same period in 1997.
The company attributes the rise to its focus on existing store operations, the growth of video-game rentals and an improved new-release schedule.
Moovies Acquired By Video Update
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Video-specialty chain Video Update here has completed the acquisition of another video retailer, Moovies, Greenville, S.C. The chain will now have 750 stores in the United States and Canada, with 676 corporately owned and 74 franchised, making it one of the top-five rental chains in the United States.
Top 10 Supermarket Video Rental Titles
Title (Weeks Out) Studio Retail LastWeek
1Air Force One (4) Columbia $22.95 1
2Hercules (5) Buena Vista $26.99 2
3The Game (7) PolyGram $106.99 3
4Devil's Advocate (3) Warner $107.37 4
5The Edge (2) Fox $104.16 6
6G.I. Jane (5) Buena Vista $107.37 5
7Soul Food (8) Fox $19.98 7
8Mad City (2) Warner $104.16 8
9Conspiracy Theory (10) Warner $107.11 10
10The Man Who Knew Too Little (2) Warner $104.16 New
The chart at right, tailored for the supermarket video market, is based on information taken from more than 1,000 supermarket rental locations serviced by Ingram Entertainment, La Vergne, Tenn.