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Special Report: VSDA Convention: The Kids Marketplace at the VSDA Convention

From July 9 to 12, home video buyers representing video stores, mass merchandisers, grocery stores, drugstores and more will descend upon Las Vegas to attend the 16th Annual VSDA Home Entertainment Convention & Exhibition, presented by the Video Software Dealers Association....
July 1, 1997

From July 9 to 12, home video buyers representing video stores, mass merchandisers, grocery stores, drugstores and more will descend upon Las Vegas to attend the 16th Annual VSDA Home Entertainment Convention & Exhibition, presented by the Video Software Dealers Association.

KidScreen is proud to sponsor the first annual Kids Marketplace at the VSDA Convention, a first-of-its-kind, premium exhibit space dedicated to showcasing children’s home entertainment products. The Kids Marketplace is designed to allow those in the business of children’s entertainment to demonstrate the growing importance of licensed merchandise as it is presented in the video retail store setting.

The worlds of entertainment and retailing are rapidly converging. Major players in the entertainment business, such as Warner Bros., Disney, Discovery and, most recently, Viacom, have shown just how true this is with their own forays into retailing. Other retail chains, such as Wal-Mart, have acknowledged the importance of entertainment links, as evidenced by Wal-Mart’s recent joint venture with Carmike Cinemas to develop family entertainment centers.

The Kids Marketplace is intended, among other things, to illustrate the degree to which video retail stores have become media outlets in themselves. Stores today represent an ideal environment to promote the sale of kids entertainment and related merchandise. With the ever-growing importance of sell-through in the kids video market, licensed merchandise tie-ins and various cross-promotional opportunities have become a new revenue stream for video retailers. Shrewd retailers can use entertainment-based properties to increase impulse purchases, to stimulate an event atmosphere in-store, and to attract new consumers both children and adults to their premises.

This principle holds true for both the larger chains and the smaller independent retailers. The common thread here is not size, but innovation and smart thinking. Marketing and promotional ideas are as readily available to the one- or two-shop operations as they are to the larger 5,000-location mass retailers. While traditional independent outlets may not have been pursued as aggressively as the large chains by the major studios and licensed merchandise distributors, by forming integrated buying groups, smaller video retailers can band together to capitalize on these profitable opportunities.

The Kids Marketplace is intended to facilitate this type of interaction and to encourage the development of new ideas, partnerships or opportunities. We also believe that the introduction of the Kids Marketplace will itself stimulate new thinking, and perhaps lead to further innovation within the expanding universe of child-directed business activity.

Ken Faier

Publisher, KidScreen

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