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‘Rent it here’ – the evolution of DVD rental

30 March
14:39 2010

 A brand new concept from ChoicesUK, Britain’s leading supplier of home entertainment products to the convenience retail industry, is set to revolutionise the DVD/Blu ray rental market in stores across the country.

‘rent it here’ will provide electronic touchscreen units that offer a quick and easy way for customers to choose and rent DVDs at their local convenience store.

The free-standing ‘rent it here’ unit takes up an area of floor space measuring just 0.2 square metres – that’s smaller than an A2 sheet of paper.

Real time feedback on rentals made at each store will enable ‘rent it here’ to constantly update in-store DVD libraries to provide additional copies of the most popular titles, and the most suitable products for each location.

With availability and prices automatically updated from a central database, ‘rent it here’ makes DVD rental trouble free for the retailer.

The touchscreen has been designed to make it simple for customers to search for and select DVDs and Blu ray by title, genre, latest release or chart.

A second screen simultaneously displays news and trailers for the latest titles plus promotions which can be tailored for each symbol group or individual store. Customers then swipe their membership card before collecting and paying for their DVD at the counter.

Customers earn loyalty points with each rental, which can be exchanged for free rentals or linked products such as drinks and snacks

A space efficient netbook terminal with barcode scanner is located behind the counter in each store. The retailer simply scans the membership card to be given the storage location of the DVD and the payment due, and then scans the DVD to confirm the rental.

The system automatically updates the library and customer records, and the whole process takes less than 10 seconds.

Customers receive an automated text or email to remind them when their DVD is due for return.

Through a new easy to use website, ‘rentithere.co.uk’, customers can reserve a film using their computer at home or work and simply pop in-store to collect their selection.

The website holds details of every DVD available for rental throughout the country and this enables customers to search for, and reserve the film of their choice at the closest convenience store holding it in stock at that time.

Research conducted by HIM! (Harris International Marketing) in January 2010 showed that 75% of UK adults would be interested in renting DVDs if they were available in an outlet close to their work or home.

Following a £300,000 initial investment in trials at 40 stores across four locations, ‘rent it here’ plans to invest a further £5 million in a roll out to an average of 20 stores a week to create a nationwide network of ‘rent it here’ units and at least 250,000 members over the next 12 months.

Each new store launch of a ‘rent it here’ unit will be supported by local marketing via posters, leaflets and other ambient and direct marketing to drive the recruitment of new members.

This will be followed up with direct marketing via post and email to advise customers of upcoming new releases. This marketing is designed to drive new customers into stores and to encourage more frequent visits to take advantage of local rental.

“The time is right for a DVD and Blu ray rental service which is convenient for customers and simple and profitable for retailers. We are confident that ‘rent it here’ delivers both of these,” says David Robinson, Marketing Director of ‘rent it here’s’ parent company The Webb Group.

“We’re really pleased with the positive feedback we’ve already had from retailers and we’re excited about the potential for ‘rent it here’ to bring strong growth into DVD rental in the convenience sector.

“The United States has already experienced a growing trend for DVD rental to move away from large, specialist rental stores to smaller convenience outlets and this has driven DVD and Blu ray rental back into growth over the past 12 months.

“The same demand exists here in the UK and ‘rent it here’ will provide convenience retailers with the opportunity to generate sales and take advantage of this growth.

“Retailers will benefit not only from the rental income generated but also the increased basket spend from the other snack food and drink items that customers will buy at the same time.”

Source: Choices UK

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