By mattdentler | Matt Dentler's Blog October 5, 2009 at 6:01AM
Thanks to new applications such as VOD and Redbox, the world of DVD sales has been sliding for a while. Rentals are up 8.3 %, but sales are down 13.5% with no real sign of a shift. The latest blow to this trend, and side effect of, will come in the form of fewer DVD displays in the nation's leading home video retailer: Wal-Mart. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the store chain is doing away with big display cases, which can only lead to even more diminished sales. From the article:
"We think the new strategy implies Wal-Mart no longer sees DVDs and Blu-ray discs as traffic drivers," J.P. Morgan analyst Imran Khan said.
Studio chiefs dispute that conclusion, noting the importance of DVDs as a sales category for Wal-Mart, but none would speak publicly for this story.
Wal-Mart, which accounts for nearly a third of DVD retail sales in the U.S., didn't respond to inquiries for comment.
The change to its DVD selling strategy is part of a larger merchandising overhaul the company calls "Project Impact," in which it has been devoting more shelf space to top-selling products and cutting back on items that linger. The discount giant also is trying to spruce up its image and cut back on clutter in its aisles, like corrugated displays for DVDs, in hopes that it can attract a more upscale shopper.