incinnati, has become the latest supermarket retailer to embrace DVD vending machines, according to a report in the Omaha World-Herald. The Automated Entertainment Machines from Woodland AEM, St. Louis, offer DVDs for rental or purchase in 11 stores, the report said. Payment is by Visa or MasterCard credit or debit cards, and the machines hold 100 copies of 30 titles. Rental rates are $2.99 for two nights. Three of the stores involved are former Albertsons, which had video rental departments. The retailer wanted to accommodate those customers, Kim Swoboda, a spokeswoman for the retailer, is quoted as saying. "If it does what we think it will do, expect it to go chainwide," she said.
DALLAS -- No. 1 video rental chain Blockbuster has proposed a $1 billion transaction to acquire the No. 2 chain, Hollywood Entertainment, Portland, Ore. Blockbuster, based here, said it has "expressed an interest" in buying Hollywood for $11.50 per share in cash and assume the smaller company's debt. The retailer said in a release that the acquisition, which would give it half of the total video rental market, would better position it to compete against such competitive threats as sell-through DVD, online services, and movies obtained from cable, satellite and computer downloading systems. "We believe this proposed transaction better positions Blockbuster to compete in the rapidly changing home entertainment marketplace, while benefiting consumers as well as Blockbuster and Hollywood Entertainment shareholders," said John Antioco, Blockbuster's chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.
ENCINO, Calif. -- The Video Software Dealers Association here unveiled a program to communicate anti-piracy messages in retail stores earlier this month. Beginning in December, thousands of video retailers will play anti-piracy trailers on their in-store monitors, and display anti-piracy posters and counter cards in their stores, according to VSDA President Bo Andersen. "Home video is America's favorite way to view the latest movies. As a result, video retailers are threatened with significant losses from movie piracy," Andersen said. "VSDA believes the solution to video piracy lies in public education, more effective laws, vigorous enforcement of the laws, and providing the consumer with multiple lawful alternatives to piracy." The in-store trailers, posters and counter cards are being provided by the Motion Picture Association of America, Los Angeles.
This chart, 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.