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Wal-Mart Looks to Lure the Undecided to Blu-ray

Jun 5, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Less than half of U.S. high-definition television owners are familiar with Blu-ray, so the world’s largest retailer will try to clue the rest in.
About 45% of HDTV owners are familiar with the Blu-ray HD disc format, up from 35% last June, according to a report by NPD Group this week. About one in 11 HDTV owners will buy a Blu-ray player within the next six months, according to NPD’s online survey.
With about 4 million Blu-ray players up for grabs, Wal-Mart has responded accordingly by adding a “hi-def Blu-ray experience” area in 1,200 of its stores, or almost a third of its U.S. total, the company said this week.
Wal-Mart, which will widen its inventory of HDTVs by about 60%, also is giving $100 gift cards to customers who buy Blu-ray players at the store between June 8 and June 14.
“We are excited to be a destination for families looking to create a high-quality, affordable home-entertainment experience with our new, wider selection of hi-def TVs, Blu-ray players and movies,” said Gary Severson, senior VP of Wal-Mart’s home entertainment division, in a statement.
Still, with more than 90% of HDTV owners saying they’ll resist the urge to take the $300-plus plunge for a Blu-ray player, such an approach is necessary for growth in a DVD industry in which sales and rentals of discs fell last year for the first time, according to Russ Crupnick, NPD’s entertainment industry analyst.
“What are the growing areas? It continues to be television and all of its affiliated hardware. So it’s a natural way to maintain share against the specialty stores,” said Mr. Crupnick. “While it’s not a value shop for the Wal-Mart person today, by the time we talk about the holidays, it’s going to be closer to that.”

One Comment

  1. Are they overlooking the BluRay players in the form of ‘drives’ for a computer; at about half what a stand alone player costs?

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