Netflix Takes Over Wal-Mart's DVD Rental Store

from the taking-over dept

A few years ago, when Wal-Mart and Blockbuster were making noises about competing directly with Netflix, lots of people thought it would be difficult for Netflix to hold onto their top position. However, Netflix always claimed they'd be able to stay ahead -- and so far they're showing that's true. A few people submitted the story this morning, but Wal-Mart has given up on its own DVD rental service to turn it over to Netflix. This comes just a week or so after a fight on Blockbuster's board over whether or not it should drop out of the online DVD rental space and rumors that Amazon wants to partner with Netflix as well, rather than compete with them. The Wal-Mart offering never got very much traction anyway, and Netflix was easily able to stay ahead. It looks like these other companies are recognizing that what Netflix has done wasn't quite as easy as they believed.

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  1. identicon
    acousticiris, 19 May 2005 @ 8:03pm

    Have to disagree...

    I've been a happy Walmart DVD rental customer...
    They did two things right that kept me as a customer.
    1. Not once was a movie unavailable [that I can recall]... meaning, if my number one movie choice was due to be mailed, it got mailed as soon as they received my return (or the notorious post office scanned it as returned).
    2. They opened a distribution center two zip-codes away from my home. This meant, if I watched it and returned it a day later, I received the next "number one" two days after I returned the last DVD.
    If I was having a particularly good movie watching month, I'd get 12 movies in a 1 month period on a 3 movie rental plan.
    Three years ago I had a Netflix account for about six months. With a 3 movie account I averaged about six movies a month. And those movies were almost always pulled from the bottom of my request list. They never seemed to have the movie I wanted available for delivery... (which was no better than going to the movie rental store a half-mile from my home and not renting the "hit movie" of the week because it was sold out). I usually had to wait 4-9 days to receive the movie from Netflix because they didn't have a distribution center in the same state, let alone city that I live in
    All of that complaining aside, it has been about three years. I'll probably give Netflix a shot again... I just hope they can "deliver" as Walmart did.
    Bottom line: I could convince my wife that the Walmart rental program was worth it because we could generally receive the movies we (she) wanted to watch within a few days... The lack of that turnaround is the reason we cancelled Netflix.

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