Your friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart may soon be making a push towards more aggressive marketing for high-def video formats with their new Blu-ray Experience Areas.
Looking at what Wal-Mart is doing is a pretty strong indicator of what mainstream America is doing. It’s also a wonderful way to get a sense of the integration of new technology for the less savvy consumer. Their stores stretch across the country and are within driving distance of most U.S. consumers. Once a product is on Wal-Mart shelves, it’s something that the average consumer probably knows about and wants.
It can be seen as a nice solid step forward for the Blu-ray format then that Wal-Mart is stepping things up from just having discs on shelves. Starting in 2010, they’ll be rolling out Blu-ray Experience Areas to stores across the country. These sections will be strongly branded with the Blu-ray logo, feature Blu-ray players and Blu-ray discs prominently and will of course have Blu-ray movies playing on high definition screens.
Best Buy has long been the leader in the Blu-ray market, but Wal-Mart caught up in 2009. The companies are now neck and neck, each making up 30% of Blu-ray discs sales.
Wal-Mart won’t be leaving behind DVD any time soon. “The standard DVD continues for now to be the major purchase preference for Walmart customers today,” says Jeff Maas, the category director for Wal-Mart media sections. He states that while people have been educated on the Blu-ray advantage, that still needs to transfer into sales. “Though most Americans are becoming more aware of its differences, it’s still young as an offering.”
Source: Video Business