The Pain

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The Pain

Postby Dimwitted » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:19 pm

I had a long talk with my friendly neighbourhood BR dealer last weekend and I was appalled at the state of the marketplace. He was telling me how bad retailing is getting out there. A bricks and mortar is going to be a rare beast soon it looks like.

This guy, when he opened, looked at the marketplace and decided to go niche, only BR for the whole store. Cool. Except that it turns out he may be the largest independent dealer of BR's in the country! Go into his store and he has about 1500 titles on display. He was telling me that he went back to the distributor to reorder Taxi Driver, he had only asked for 5 copies and that sold out in a day, and the dist told him that there were no more to be had in Canada. Not that there was a huge drain, far from it, he was the only retailer to get any! He scoffed and they showed him the list, of the last 30 titles he's bought, only 4 had also been bought by another retailer.

Now this doesn't include the majors like BB/FS or Wally World but even there it's brutal. If it's not mainline/new release the chances of getting something are remote. I figure if this keeps up we're going to lose the ability to buy retail totally.

Any thoughts?
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Re: The Pain

Postby mkiker2089 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:39 pm

I wouldn't have thought it was that bad. Perhaps his distributor is too small?

Beyond that however you are correct. Especially for things like movies. Clothes and appliances people want to see and shop around. Movies are a different beast and are among the safest of things to purchase online. Factor in the DVD to BR ratio and digital content and it could be very tough on him. In the US BR must be taking off faster because a lot of stores in my area have fairly substantial collections. Most of it is mainstream but even at that it's a nice variety.
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Re: The Pain

Postby Dimwitted » Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:12 am

mkiker2089 wrote:I wouldn't have thought it was that bad. Perhaps his distributor is too small?


I wish. Scarily they're the largest in Canada. EOne. Not only do they distribute but also make movies too. A rather big fish in a small pond.
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Re: The Pain

Postby Steve T Power » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:37 am

Dimwitted wrote:
mkiker2089 wrote:I wouldn't have thought it was that bad. Perhaps his distributor is too small?


I wish. Scarily they're the largest in Canada. EOne. Not only do they distribute but also make movies too. A rather big fish in a small pond.


The problem is that EOne services Wal Mart and Future Shop as well, and allocations to those divisions is significantly higher than what say, Le Superclub gets, and then the indie channel is smaller again. Indie retailers are miniscule. Chains like HMV and Futureshop also do a great job of catering to the more niche releases.

And anyone who told you Wal Mart wasn't carrying Taxi Driver is lying. They had about 12 of them at my closest store.
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Re: The Pain

Postby Dimwitted » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:35 am

Nah! The list he was shown wouldn't have included the majors, I'm quite sure. Around my neck of the woods, the FS/BB's are cutting back drastically on the floor space allocated to DVD/BR. FS has shortened up on the appliance section as well. I'm unsure on what this indicates; they can't differentiate themselves from other retailers? Cost controls put in place with reduced sku's as a consequence? Lower sales? HMV is in turmoil right now. They are definitely pruning the chain and I also hear that product is getting tight from some suppliers. Can they reinvent or shrink themselves fast enough to balance the books is the question. It would be a definite blow if they left.

I know that Eone has dominated the distribution channel, it's why there's so little variation in pricing at all retail levels. Even Amazon.ca toes the line. Thankfully .com ignores us but will gladly sell and ship here.
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Re: The Pain

Postby Dimwitted » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:04 am

Bah! I was cut off.

The Wal-marts near me suck. Unless it comes in those cardboard PoP displays it will never make it to the floor. OTOH the dvd section is wonderful. Aggravating!

Is this a function of our market? This is why I did the post in the first place. I'm in a bedroom community in S. Ontario. Poor penetration of BR? I might have thought so except of the distributor data. There's not that many indies around here. Is this a larger problem? As it stands now WE are the market for BR. Yes, the Verdict crowd is fractured, diverse and separated geographically but I betcha we buy a substantial portion of our local market in these trying times. Dave out in Winnipeg maybe keeping a single store in BR business with his buying habits as scary as that seems.

The problem is that, as the WB guy alluded to referencing the catalogue BR titles, if there isn't enough traction in the market then anything but new releases, dies. No remastering programs, nifty special features or good pricing on classics. With Blockbuster scewed up, how many copies do you think the marketplace will absorb? I certainly can see the time when a release is download/stream only. And that would suck.

I know that finding the interesting or unusual will become harder especially small market like Canada. I was gratified that I bought a copy of Winter's Bone and The Good, the Bad and the Weird. It may be the only time I'll ever see them again.
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Re: The Pain

Postby Steve T Power » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:20 pm

Dimwitted wrote:Bah! I was cut off.

The Wal-marts near me suck. Unless it comes in those cardboard PoP displays it will never make it to the floor. OTOH the dvd section is wonderful. Aggravating!

Is this a function of our market? This is why I did the post in the first place. I'm in a bedroom community in S. Ontario. Poor penetration of BR? I might have thought so except of the distributor data. There's not that many indies around here. Is this a larger problem? As it stands now WE are the market for BR. Yes, the Verdict crowd is fractured, diverse and separated geographically but I betcha we buy a substantial portion of our local market in these trying times. Dave out in Winnipeg maybe keeping a single store in BR business with his buying habits as scary as that seems.

The problem is that, as the WB guy alluded to referencing the catalogue BR titles, if there isn't enough traction in the market then anything but new releases, dies. No remastering programs, nifty special features or good pricing on classics. With Blockbuster scewed up, how many copies do you think the marketplace will absorb? I certainly can see the time when a release is download/stream only. And that would suck.

I know that finding the interesting or unusual will become harder especially small market like Canada. I was gratified that I bought a copy of Winter's Bone and The Good, the Bad and the Weird. It may be the only time I'll ever see them again.


Gotcha. I better understand what you were trying to say now (after a day's worth of caffeine.) My local wal mart has actually been pretty reliable, which is a strange thing considering the entirety of the island has less than half the population of Halifax, Nova Scotia. They've also been pretty bullish on phasing out the DVD section in favor of two aisles of blu-ray (i'll snap a shot on the smell phone next time i'm there) ;) It's a tough call either way really. I for one would hate to see physical media disappear in favor of ones and zeroes, but retail being what it is, i see things going that way. Beyond that, I think the studios are looking at Blu-Ray from the wrong perspective, it is, and has always been a supplementary format to DVD, i'm astonished by how successful it has been, but I always sort of likened it to Laserdisc. Sure it's succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams, but I still don't see it as a viable replacement of the DVD format. It's a much more fragmented market. If anything, i see the fragmentation as hurting both formats, and causing a crack that allows digital delivery to weasel it's way in and spread like a cancer through the bottom lines of both DVD and Blu-Ray.
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