Retailers are focusing in as never before on expanding and enhancing their presentations of new releases. Many of the retailers participating in this year's SN video roundtable said they plan to make new releases as much as 75% to 80% of their rental inventories. This reflects consumer demand and the harsh facts of the marketplace -- the new releases are about the only type of video product that can be counted on to turn rapidly. With floor space at a premium and competition from large video specialty stores increasing, supermarket video operators are resetting their departments to favor new releases, said the roundtable participants. "We'll keep a family section, add a lot more new releases and let Blockbuster handle the catalog," said Rick Ang, buyer at Video Mart, Sacramento, Calif., which racks video departments in 17 Bel Air supermarkets in the Sacramento area. The retailers are bringing in more depth of copy on the newest titles. But they are also rethinking the length of time they leave movies out on the new release shelves. Here's what was said about new releases: SN: Supermarkets are increasing the percentage they devote to new releases. What's going on?
ted in space. Even for the specialty stores like Blockbuster, new releases are what drives them. In our live stores, where we have devoted 1,000 square feet of floor space to the department, that's where we carry the big catalog sections, and we do very well with it. We have one stand-alone store in an older community, where we almost rent as many catalog titles as new releases, because that's what the customers there want to see. But for the most part, in our non-live situations I think we're going to get up to 75% new releases. FEIOCK: The industry as a whole has to change the way it looks at video in supermarkets and in terms of how much space it really demands. If we are going to compete with the Blockbusters and Hollywoods we have to make our departments much, much livelier than they are right now. SN: What results have you seen from the stores you've reset? FEIOCK: We've tripled our revenue in some stores, going from 700 square feet to 2,000 square feet, adding extra titles, providing better visibility, making it more accessible. I think that is fantastic. In fact, in those stores the growth has not stopped, it's getting better.