Walmart Move Could Render DVD Sales DOA

The Wall Street Journal reports Walmart is cutting back DVD displays as part of its effort to appeal to “higher-end” (read: Target) shoppers.

This means no more display cases to pimp the latest releases. Reporter Nat Worden quotes a stock analyst who says this means DVD and Blu-ray are dead in Walmart’s eyes:

“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.

Phoenix movie blogger Colin Boyd hints the situation could be the tipping point that kills the movie industry’s cash cow:

The studios count on Wal-Mart to move over 30% of all of their product, and in an down environment overall for home video sales and rentals, that’s probably not good news for industry. However, it could be seen as another door opening for online retailers, like NetFlix and Amazon.

There’s not a direct correlation there, but online could see a small spike from it. Will it impact sales in stores? Absolutely, although I don’t know that we’ll be able to say how much until the first quarter of next year, because DVD sales are always brisk around the holidays.

It definitely seems people haven’t been agog at buying up DVDs anymore. How many DVDs do you buy in a year? In a decade?

Wal-Mart Scales Back DVD Displays [Wall Street Journal]
Walmart Eliminating In-Store DVD, Blu-ray Displays [Get the Big Picture]
(Photo: Clean Wal-Mart)