Merchandising: Best Buy Offers ‘Paranoia Agent’ Blu-ray Steelbook

Among the scant deals on new DVD and Blu-ray releases Oct. 13, Best Buy as usual had a few exclusive Steelbook editions of new titles.

Most notable was a Blu-ray Steelbook of Funimation’s Paranoia Agent: The Complete Series for $37.99.

The anime series focuses on a boy named Lil’ Slugger who attacks a series of seemingly unconnected victims with a golden baseball bat. As detectives attempt to find a link between the victims, they discover that the victims’ lives have somehow improved.

A regular Blu-ray edition of the show will be widely released Dec. 15.

Best Buy also offered a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook edition of Sony Pictures’ District 9, for $27.99.

Best Buy’s ‘District 9’ 4K Steelbook

Target was holding a buy-two-get-one-free sale on music, movies and books.

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Big Retail Looks to Counter Amazon Prime Days With Steep Discounts

When Amazon pushed back its annual Prime Days e-commerce sales event from the summer to Oct. 13-14, big box competitors were faced with a decision: counter the online behemoth’s signature event that generated more than $7 billion in sales last year with competing discounts, or wait until November’s Black Friday, the industry’s traditional retail event the day after Thanksgiving.

They’re doing both.

Big box chains such as Target, Walmart and Best Best Buy are launching Black Friday-type discounts this week on select big-ticket consumer electronics, toys, clothing and gaming items in an effort to lure consumers with contactless retail, including curbside delivery of both in-store and e-commerce transactions in the COVID-19 era.

Target is bowing “Deal Days,” and Best Buy is offering early access to select Black Friday deals during the same Prime Days period. Walmart, which recently launched its own retail subscription program to compete with the Prime membership, began its “Big Save Event” on Oct. 11 (at 7 p.m. ET) through Oct. 15.

Walmart is offering 21% Off JVC 32-inch class HD Roku Smart LED televisions, 32% of Samsung Smart Watches, $100 Off Beats Solo Pro Wireless headsets, 24% Off Roku Streaming Stick.

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Best Buy is marketing a 70-inch Samsung 4K HD Smart TV for $529.99. It will also sell laptop computers priced at $119.99 as part of the early sale.

“This will be a holiday season like no other, and we want to help our customers shop how, where and when they want,” Best Buy spokesman Keegan Shoutz told USA Today. “This year, that means helping them start their shopping early, by starting our Black Friday deals earlier than ever before.”

Target said it would offer deals on “hundreds of thousands of items across its electronics, toys, beauty, and home departments,” including offering contactless drive-up and order pickup on many items. Indeed, fast-forwarding Black Friday discounts enables chains to promote their enhanced safety protocols while minimizing the traditional long lines and crowded malls in November.

“There are so many unknown variables this year,” Tyson Cornell, head of the U.S. consumer markets group at PwC, told The Washington Post. “By kicking off sales in October, [retailers] are hoping to spread consumer traffic and demand over the next few months, helping them maintain social distancing in stores, consistently move inventory and adjust their strategies based on early consumer demand.”

James Zahn, senior editor of trade magazine Toy Insider, said the stampede mentality of the past, with doorbusters sales and Black Friday deals every weekend, is being replaced by earlier, season-long discounts.

“We’re in a health crisis, so retailers are having to rethink how they get products into families’ hands,” Zahn said.

Merchandising: ‘Tax Collector’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Exclusive to Best Buy

Best Buy’s ‘Tax Collector’ 4K Steelbook

The new releases for Oct. 6 saw more exclusive Steelbook editions from Best Buy.

Most notable, though, is that Best Buy has the exclusive 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of RLJ’s The Tax Collector. The 4K Tax Collector is available as a Steelbook combo pack containing 4K and regular Blu-ray discs for $19.99.

Among the Best Buy Steelbooks for catalog titles released during the week was Warner’s 300, a 4K combo pack for $29.99.

Best Buy’s ‘300’ 4K Steelbook

Best Buy also had 4K Steelbook combo packs for three Paramount movies at $24.99 apiece: Interstellar, Saving Private Ryan and Mission: Impossible — Fallout.

Best Buy’s ‘Interstellar’ 4K Steelbook
Best Buy’s ‘Saving Private Ryan’ 4K Steelbook
Best Buy’s ‘Mission: Impossible — Fallout’ 4K Steelbook

Elsewhere, Target offered 15% off all Disney movies on disc.

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Merchandising: Best Buy Brings Out Several 4K Steelbooks

Best Buy released several exclusive Steelbook editions for 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs released Sept. 15.

Among the Sept. 15 4K Steelbook releases:

  • Hocus Pocus, from Disney, $27.99;
  • Home Alone, from Disney’s 20th Century Studios, $27.99;
    Goodfellas, from Warner, $22.99;
  • 21 and 22 Jump Street in a two-movie Steelbook set, from Sony Pictures, $44.99.

 

In addition, Best Buy also released a standard Blu-ray Steelbook editions of the of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, from Disney’s 20th Century Studios, and 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, from Warner. Both are listed at $14.99.

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Target offered 25% off select TV shows on DVD in stores and online.

Walmart offered early disc release of a couple of Warner titles slated for Oct. 6 everywhere else: the Blu-ray and DVD of Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite!, and the DVD of Happy Halloween Scooby-Doo!, the latest animated movie in the franchise. Both are also available early on disc for rental at Redbox kiosks.

Merchandising: Steelbooks Galore After Labor Day

Several Steelbook editions of new and catalog titles hit shelves Sept. 8, and not just at Best Buy, which is best known for offering the exclusive packaging variant.

Best Buy offered the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook of Lionsgate’s Ghost in the Shell at $19.99 to mark the 25th Anniversary of the anime movie.

A few titles from Universal Pictures also made their way to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray at Best Buy via the Steelbook, at $22.99 apiece: 47 Ronin, 2020’s The Invisible Man, and the 60h anniversary re-release of Psycho.

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Best Buy also offered an exclusive edition of Warner’s animated Superman: Man of Tomorrow, but it wasn’t a Steelbook. Best Buy offered a $29.99 gift set of the film that paired the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack with a figurine of the Parasite character.

Best Buy’s ‘Superman: Man of Tomorrow’ with Parasite figurine

To get Man of Tomorrow in Steelbook packaging, fans had to head to Target, which offered the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of the movie in the collector’s packaging for $19.99 (though the box art was the same as the standard release).

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Another Steelbook offered through Target was Lionsgate’s Rob Zombie Trilogy Blu-ray set at $29.99, containing House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects and 3 From Hell.

Target’s ‘Rob Zombie Trilogy’ Steelbook

Target also offered an exclusive Jojo Siwa Party Pack at $19.99, a three-DVD bundle of Nickelodeon’s “Jojo Siwa” programs

Target’s ‘Jojo Siwa’ bundle

Speaking of Nickelodeon, Amazon had the Paw Patrol: Jet to the Rescue DVD Sept. 3, before other stores stocked in Sept. 8.

Merchandising: Gift Sets for ‘Goonies,’ ‘Beetlejuice’

Among the Sept. 1 new releases on DVD and Blu-ray, a couple of retailers offered exclusive editions of Warner’s new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray re-releases of 1985’s The Goonies and 1988’s Beetlejuice.

Amazon offered deluxe gift sets for each title at $49.99 apiece.

The Goonies collector’s set comes in treasure chest packaging and includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, regular Blu-ray and digital copies of the film; a replica of One Eyed Willy’s treasure map featured in the film​; five collectible pin-on buttons​; and an iron-on embroidered patch​.

The Beetlejuice collector’s set comes in a gift box made to look like The Handbook for the Recently Deceased, and includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, regular Blu-ray and digital copies of the film; a 4-inch embroidered glow-in-the-dark patch of Beetlejuice’s gravestone​; an insert of instructions for life after death emergencies with three pieces of collectible chalk;​ a replica of the “Betelgeuse” flyer featured in the film​; and a gift box.

Amazon’s ‘Beetlejuice’ 4K gift set

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Best Buy continued to promote its exclusive Steelbook editions of titles, including new 4K Steelbook combo packs for The Goonies and Beetlejuice at $29.99 apiece.

Best Buy’s ‘The Goonies’ 4K Steelbook
Best Buy’s ‘Beetlejuice’ 4K Steelbook

Target didn’t feature any DVD or Blu-ray listings in its online weekly ad, but it did have a video game promotion, offering a free “Bitty Boomer” Bluetooth speaker (valued at $17.99) with the purchase of Marvel’s Avengers on PS4 or Xbox One Sept. 4 at $59.99.

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Merchandising: ‘Max Winslow’ Hits Blu-ray at Walmart

The week of Aug. 25 again saw most notable new releases arriving on shelves without much in the way of retailer exclusives.

Walmart offered a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of a young adult movie called Max Winslow and the House of Secrets, from Skip Stone Pictures. The story concerns five students who compete in a series of games to win a mansion from an eccentric billionaire (Chad Michael Murray).

Best Buy used its home entertainment Top Deals section to unveil preorders for more Steelbook Blu-ray editions it will offer in the future.

Among the new batch of Steelbook preorders includes a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of Warner’s Goodfellas, due Sept. 15; a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of Sony Pictures’ Whiplash, due Sept. 22; a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of Sony Pictures’ District 9, due Oct. 13; and a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of Warner’s V for Vendetta, due Nov. 3.

Best Buy also has an exclusive edition of Warner’s Superman: Man of Tomorrow animated movie on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Sept. 8, packed with a figurine.

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Once again, a number of Targets didn’t even bother stocking the new titles in a timely manner. A store in Tustin, Calif., had the shelf tags for the titles out, but left them empty well into the afternoon.

Target Reports Record Q2 Store Sales Across All Merchandise Categories, Including Entertainment

Target Corp. Aug. 19 reported record second-quarter (ended Aug. 1) sales, up 24.3% to $22.9 billion from $18.4 billion during the previous-year period. Net income ballooned 80% to $1.7 billion from $938 million last year.

The Minneapolis-based retailer attributed the fiscal rise to continuation of heightened sales volume and significant household investments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Target, along with Walmart and Best Buy, is one of the largest sellers of packaged media, including DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K UHD Blu-ray. While online sales grew 195% in the quarter, in-store sales drove nearly 90% of the company’s quarterly revenue.

“Our stores were the key to this unprecedented growth, with in-store comp sales growing 10.9% and stores enabling more than three-quarters of Target’s digital sales,” CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement. “We remain steadfast in our focus on investing in a safe and convenient shopping experience for our guests, and their trust has resulted in market share gains of $5 billion in the first six months of the year. We are well-equipped to navigate the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, and continue to grow profitably in the years ahead.”

Target operates nearly 1,900 stores nationwide, in addition to Target.com.

Home Entertainment Giants Walmart, Target to Release Financial Results This Week

Following home entertainment studios’ strong quarterly fiscal results, top retailers Walmart and Target are set to release fiscal results this week that should underscore ongoing consumer demand for both physical and digital movies and TV shows.

Walmart, which reports fiscal results on Aug. 18, is the world’s biggest brick-and-mortar retailer and top seller of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, with more than 5,000 outlets in the U.S. and more than 6,000 international stores.

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Long a packaged-media promotional juggernaut, on big releases Walmart will often do a gift set pairing a Blu-ray combo pack with a collectible such as a plush or keychain. The chain also offers exclusive bare-bones DVDs of Warner titles.

Target Corp., which reports results on Aug. 19, markets home video at more than 1,800 stores with point-of-purchase displays and significant shelf space. Like Walmart, Target has long been a big seller of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs. Disney in 2019 launched 25 branded sections within select Target stores, with 40 additional locations opening by this October.

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Target’s go-to marketing angle is the behind-the-scenes booklet add-on to packaged-media releases. For instance, for Onward, the latest Pixar release, Target offered a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a gallery booklet and slipcover for $34.99.

Target has seen increased sales due to the coronavirus pandemic, reporting a 141% increase in e-commerce revenue for the first quarter (ended March 31) as consumers stocked up on lower-margin products online. CEO Brian Cornell said Target.com saw an increase of 5 million customers in the quarter, while more than 2 million used the drive-up service. The chain said more than 70 million people have downloaded the Target Circle app to access e-commerce.

Best Buy reports fiscal results on Aug. 25.

Merchandising: Best Buy Celebrates 25th Anniversary of ‘Casper’ With Steelbook

The latest catalog title to get a special Best Buy Steelbook exclusive Blu-ray is Universal’s 1995 family film Casper.

The film, a live-action version of the “Casper the Friendly Ghost” cartoons, is offered at Best Buy as a 25th anniversary Steelbook Blu-ray edition at $14.99. The movie version stars Christina Ricci and Bull Pullman.

Otherwise, the DVD and Blu-ray sections at the major retailers are starting to see some neglect as the pandemic wears on, simultaneously upping the profile of digital delivery while limiting the number of blockbuster new releases hitting shelves. A Target store in Tustin, Calif., hadn’t even bothered putting the new Aug. 11 titles on shelves as of late afternoon Tuesday.

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While Target hasn’t offered much in the way of DVD deals lately, it does have 20% off select books and 25% off vinyl records with the purchase of another record.