The nation's second largest retailer has quietly doubled its shelf space for Blu-ray, while retaining previous levels for HD DVD.
According to an article published today by Video Business, industry sources began noting the change over the last several weeks.
Although the retailer had previously stocked an equal number of HD DVD and Blu-ray discs, spotchecks at several Southern California stores (and one in Philadelphia) indicated that while the Blu-ray sections had at least doubled in size, the HD DVD sections remained the same.
As we've previously reported, back in July it was announced that Target and Sony had signed an agreement that will bring Sony's BDP-S300 Blu-ray player to Target stores nationwide for the holiday season, with Sony reportedly paying a fee for aisle displays featuring both the players and Blu-ray discs.
At the time, the retailer emphasized that it has not chosen sides in the high-def format war, and would continue to carry software on both formats.
Target had no comment in response to today's Video Business story, but BDA chairman Andy Parsons trumpted the move.
"You’re going to get a clear message when you see more Blu-ray than HD DVD, and you’re going to think something is up," said Parsons. "The message to the consumer is that one of these [formats] is dominating. You’ll go with the masses and pick titles from the one that is likely to win."
For their part, HD DVD supporters minimized the impact of Target's decision, attributing it to Blu-ray's current sales lead.
"For a retailer to make a decision on shelving, it’s a very flexible decision," Alan Bell, CTO at Paramount Pictures told Video Business. "Retail might be shifting inventory around, but at some point, there could be diminishing returns."