Retail Sales Of DVDs Will Top $1 Billion In 2000, Study Says

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Retailers expect to sell more than a billion dollars worth of DVD players next year, paving the way for greater acceptance of digital television early next century.

That's the word from Neretin Associates, a Maplewood, N.J.-based marketing strategies research firm that canvassed 168 consumer electronics retailers in seven channels, representing over 20,000 storefronts.

According to its findings, retailers expect to sell 3,235,000 regular DVD players in 2000 and an additional 122,300 portable units next year. Principal Aaron Neretin arrived at the admittedly conservative billion-dollar-plus figure by factoring in the 1999 average of $326 for a regular DVD sale and $856 per portable player sale. The figures do not take into account add-on audio/video sales made in conjunction with a DVD player purchase, and Neretin acknowledged that average prices are expected to rise next year as costlier, audio-oriented models curry greater favor with consumers.

Sales projections for the current quarter are equally optimistic, with stores expecting to sell some 722,500 regular DVD players and 21,700 portable units this holiday season, for a total of $254.1 million at retail.

Both sets of statistics support the retailers' contention that 80% of their customers are "extremely" or "very interested" in DVD, Neretin said.

Neretin added that CE retailers believe their DVD suppliers are "missing the boat" by not giving their full attention to year-round advertising and more meaningful in-store promotional planning.

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