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Walmart reduces the space occupied by DVD, Blu-ray discs by 20% – News Media Play

The DVD/Blu-ray Disc section of a Walmart store in Oceanside, Calif., in October 2022. (Photo by Media Play News staff)

Thomas C. Arnold

Sources say that due to the continued decline in sales of CDs, Walmart Inc. is reducing its DVD and Blu-ray Disc stores by 20% ahead of this year’s holiday season.

Walmart is the world’s largest retailer and one of the leaders in sales of packaged media.

last fall, News Media Play reports that many Target stores, in the midst of a general store redesign, “appear to have cut in half the number of shelves in their electronics departments devoted to box-office movies and TV shows.” Best Buy stores have also reduced their packaged media sections over the past few years.

Walmart hasn’t changed the disc sections significantly since before the pandemic, when the company began limiting DVDs and Blu-ray Discs to one aisle, reserving the second aisle, which also previously held discs, for vinyl records and other products.

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During the VHS era, Walmart stores only had a handful of sale-priced videotapes, mostly from Disney. That all changed with the release of DVD in 1997. Within two years, Walmart became one of the country’s largest sellers of the then-new format. DVDs were so popular that Walmart began using them as a loss leader, with deep discounts — less than wholesale, grumbled other retailers — just to drive traffic to its stores.

Double-digit year-over-year sales growth culminated in a record 2006 DVD sales of $16.6 billion in consumer spending, according to DEG: Digital Entertainment Group estimates. Walmart accounted for at least 40% of that, or a cool $6.6 billion, according to studio sources at the time.

Last year, total consumer spending on DVD and its two successor formats, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, was pegged by DEG at just $1.97 billion, which, if the ratio holds, means that the total Walmart’s share barely exceeds $780 million.

Observers point to the chain’s growing tendency to store select items — from razors to DVDs — in locked cabinets, further reducing Walmart’s disc sales.

“DVD has traditionally been an impulse buy,” said one observer, “and finding a clerk to unlock a cabinet doesn’t play into that scenario.”

Ironically, during a recent visit to a Walmart store in Oceanside, California, the electronics department had an additional Halloween-themed DVD and Blu-ray disc cover under the Monsters of the Night banner. This is an annual promotion that Walmart has been running since at least 2020. Tent names with glow-in-the-dark O-rings include Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Chucky Collection and Warner Bros.’s Destination and A Nightmare on Elm Street sets.

https://www.mediaplaynews.com/walmart-reduces-dvd-blu-ray-disc-footprint-by-20-percent/ Walmart reduces the space occupied by DVD, Blu-ray discs by 20% – News Media Play

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