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Discussion Starter #1
Take a look at today's front Business page spread in the NY TIMES today. I felt like this article spoke to many of us who feel the Walmart factor may not be any factor at all.

Story:


1. Walmart Executives commissioned a private (confidential) assessing of the company's perceptions by the public from GSD&M advertising. Apparently, the NY TIMES got a hold of it. The report is 7 mos old and Walmart officials deny it is of significance (though they commissioned it from their agency of over 30 years):

What they found (quotes from the article below):


1. "Walmart is NOT a smart choice for Electronics, , clothing, etc".

2. "Walmart shopper: Not very smart, Hillbilly stereotype ".

3. "Walmart's low prices suggest low quality for products like High Definition Televisions".

4. "Shoppers believe Best Buy is the smart choice in electronics because they provide information and knowledge to help you in an informed decision" (edit - if the poor perception of BB employees here is an indicator (idiot automatons), then you can only imagine the performance of sales folks at Walmart
.

5. Walmart Walmart's rating as a company consumers trust has 'steadily' declined over the last 2 years.



For upscale items or a single purchase itme (e.g. a single DVD as quoted) Walmart's one-stop shopping format becomes a time consuming irrelevant obstacle (as stores average 200,000 sq ft).


Walmart Has adopted few of the recommendations form the agency.



My take on this is simple, whether it be HD DVD or Blu Ray players that Walmart ultimately stocks, this place - despite the cheap prices - apparently (according to the experts to evaluate such) may not be the ideal place to try and launch, let alone sway, the HD format wars. The folks who shop Walmart are not the types that will blindly go buy the next new format in any great numbers. Moreover, the salespeople will hinder any appetite they may have towards adopting a new DVD playback system. Sure Walmart will sell some players but given their demographic, it will be a number insignificant to the format war. It will be years before the numbers turn significant enough to affect the outcome and by then player prices will be the same and software sales will be the key indicator. For Blu Ray, as I have always contended, they just have to hold onto their exclusive studios. Walmart and HD DVD can have all the cheap players they like as their sales numbers over the next couple years will still be relatively low number and Blu Ray will have ample time to catch up and match them. Then, and only then will it come down to software. To me, hardware numbers over the next year or two are relatively unimportant. This is what many of us Blu Ray supporter have contended since before any players or software went to the public market for sale. The above article simply points out the fact that despite Walmart's large customer base and ubiquitous store fronts that their shoppers, their staff, their physical store lay out and perception will not be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow many here are thinking it may be. IN fact, it will stave off potential buyers. They have an image problem amongst other issues. The Walmart concept was not designed for more sophisticated purchases like electronics according to the study.. Purchases that require more thought (and risk) are being made in other venues (e.g. Best Buy and CC). Walmart, as the study showed, has built its empire on trusted products at low prices 'like a bottle of dish soap..but not electronics'.


This simply points out that the Walmart factor in the HD format wars is far less important than many think.


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/bu...ss&oref=slogin
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland /forum/post/0


The Walmart concept was not designed for more sophisticated purchases like electronics according to the study..

I think they got it backwards: Walmart concept was designed to make every purchase a non-sophisticated one.

They try to make every purchase a no-brainer. "Sophisticated Walmart" is an oxymoron, IMHO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland /forum/post/0


This simply points out that the Walmart factor in the HD format wars is far less important than many think.

I'd replace the "is" with "might be".


Diogen.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I tihnk the crowd here is smart enough to recognize some editorial and think for themselves. I linked the article for a full read. I quoted all exact remarks and concluded with my opinions. I tihink we were due for a nother angle of Wlamart and it's potential implication to the HD formats.


Thanks!
 

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Well you can keep telling yourself that but I'll bet you any amount of money that if Wal-Mart really started pushing HD-DVD BR has no shot of winning the war in the US. I'm not gonna dispute how smart the average Wal-Mart shopper is, thats irrelevant, price is king. I'm fairly certain that Wal-Mart sells more HDTVs in a week than "upscale" A/V enthusiast stores do in a year.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland /forum/post/0


I tihnk the crowd here is smart enough to recognize some editorial and think for themselves.

Did anything I said denied the reader that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland /forum/post/0


I quoted all exact remarks and concluded with my opinions.

So did I.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland /forum/post/0


I tihink we were due for a nother angle of Wlamart and it's potential implication to the HD formats.

One of the findings "Walmart's low prices suggest low quality for products like High Definition Televisions" shows how far off-base the research was.

Read this , for example.


Diogen.
 

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Why do you think Wal-Mart has made efforts to change it's image to a place that is a smart place to buy electonrics? Why do you think they are putting a hurt on places like Best Buy and Circuit City (neither company denies it)?


Wal-Mart has commission studies like this before and they make changes because of them to make themselves more competitive. This is just one more study in a series.


I think this shows that Wal-Mart is serious about becoming the first stop for electronic. They are studying their business and making changes to improve. They are also making changes to change public perception. SO my take on it would be completely opposite. I think this shows that Wal-Mart is serious about competing with BB and CC. They are a multi-billion dollar corporation that has the money to make changes and change perception. So if they do offer HD DVD and promote it over BD, then they will be doing so with all seriousness, and with the goal of picking off BB and CC.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't doubt they are trying to change their perception...but it takes years to do so and will it be in time to effect the race?
 

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Where people really put on their Walmart thrift-suit is gift buying. Come Xmas season where they would shop and what they supposedly wouldn't buy for themselves, instantly becomes good-enough for others.


Also if price is going to make a difference, it's going make it at Walmart, Sam's, Target, Best Buy, Frys, Amazon, CC. Nobody is going to refuse an inexpensive product to pad or drive a HDTV sale, or sell some software.


We will know by first-quarter 08 if price (combined with a bigger push) is effective. I think that it will be.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland /forum/post/0


I don't doubt they are trying to change their perception...but it takes years to do so and will it be in time to effect the race?

To be honest, I don't think it will matter. If they push cheap players, they will sell. This would in turn cause other stores to lower their prices just to compete. Lets face it, while Walmart may have an image problem, its competition (BB,CC) aren't much better-its not like they are considered High-end, or even high quality.

J
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland /forum/post/0


I don't doubt they are trying to change their perception...but it takes years to do so and will it be in time to effect the race?

Regardless on how some people see Walmart. If it pushes HDDVD or BD. It will have a major effect on the format "war". They wont have to change their image to do it either. Its a discount store. It always will be. If they decide to push more electronics, thats a business decision. However, I highly doubt, they ever push ultra high end electronics. So in the case of HDDVD and BD. They would push the low end players and not the high end ones. Maybe offer a chance to order a high end player through the store or online. They just wont carry them in volume at most of the stores. To discount Walmart's effect on a market because they are perceived differently by a small percentage of the country is foolish.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland /forum/post/0


WALMART: The wrong front line for a HD sales push

...in your opinion...


HOWEVER, in my opinion, HD has penetrated the early adopters to a great degree already, with some 25 percent of US households having HD sets.


And, now that the US is switching to Digital signals, Joe Public is looking to get in on HD too. Walmart is the perfect place to drive that mass adoption. Joe Public will confuse the difference between Digital and HD, but since they are upgrading anyway, HD will be a natural buy for them.


And having HD DVD players for $243 in Walmart probably scares the pants off of the Bluray crowd...


Not sure why the report would be "leaked" to the New York Times, but it would seem to be a clear case of "dirty business" tactics by a competitor, or other interested party. The story is clearly designed to try to undermine shareholder confidence and "scare" Walmart off of their strategy.


Heck, the PR company could even be pissed off that "Walmart adopted few of" their recommendations. The fact that someone has even told the Times about this "adopted few of" aspect leads me to believe that it may have come from close to the PR company. That they are touting the "30 years experience" aspect would reinforce that suspicion... but hey ho, ya never know.


Either way, insulting Walmart's customers or the company itself will not change the fact that it will represent a key vendor in the mass adoption of HD and digital TV by the masses.


Digital TV will become mandatory for every American now, and there will be massive replacements of TVs (even though Joe Public could just buy a new tuner). Walmart is perfectly poised to cash in on that changeover.
 

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I think walmart is meaningless to the format war. HDMI, HDCP, DTS HD MA, TrueHD, PCM, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 1080p24, IME, BD-J, etc etc. These specs are needed to be learned, what they do, how to get them to your tv, configured and also calibrated. This is not the "walmart" crowd i see when i go get the cheaper alternative to Crystal Light and shaving cream. If anything, it will show how much time its going to take for the HD formats to really make an impact on DVD.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdjam /forum/post/0


And having HD DVD players for $243 in Walmart probably scares the pants off of the Bluray crowd...

That price is now there at Sams Club, and it makes no never mind to myself as a blu-ray owner. Price is one thing, watching Spidey 1-3 and Pirates 1-3 in HD is another.
 

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If I were either formats manufacturers, I would stay far far away from Walmart. Walmart has a bad habit of not only bankrupting the competition, but also the companies that do business with them. Ask Rubbermaid and Vlasic pickles. Walmart killed both of them by forces prices prices down so low that they were not making a dime from a sale. They were selling more product, but making no money.


IMO, Walmart is the worse entity ever doing business in this country. Millions of Americans have lost jobs because of Walmart. Many a city has been burned because of Walmarts avoidance of paying local taxes, and playing hard ball with city councils. They do not provide more jobs because they often kill other businesses, which leads to a net loss of jobs everywhere they go. Americans have Walmarted their own jobs and standard of living away, all for the perception of saving a few dollars that you actually don't save in the long run. You buy cheaply, you buy more often. In the end you haven't saved a dime. That is exactly the position that Walmart loves for you to be in.
 

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Another thing to consider is that many consumers get an HDTV and then want a player for it, and don't know the difference in Blu Ray vs. HD DVD. Often times, they'll choose which ever one is cheapest...having no idea what movies are available for each. A Wal-Mart associate certainly isn't going to explain it (or even be available to ask), and a BB or Circuit City person just wants to take you in the room and show off surround sound.

I have a PS3 and hope Blu Ray prevails, but I also understand the importance of cost to the general consumer. This was an informative post thebland. Thanks.
 

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I think this article lets the reader see what they want to see. Truth is in the eye of the beholder.


Wether or not wal mart will have an impact or not(I´m not a us resident so I´m not very familiar with wm) on Hd dvd sales (if they are about to invest and make a push for hd dvd) I welcome their entrance. I can´t see how it would have a negative effect, so that´ll make it a win win situation with nothing to lose. Bad for hd dvd? Think not.


JackBee - If a sales person starts talking tech terms, but are all those necessary? I think not, my parents got an hd e1 running with a single hdmi wire, so hd dvd and hdmi were all I had to explain. I don´t see why an average j6p(or whatever you call them) would be the slightest interested in BD-J, IME, 1080p24 and all those audio codecs.


Anyway regarding the article, I think it´s a somewhat desperate way to try and connect it with the hd war and wal marts possible involvment....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland /forum/post/0


This simply points out that the Walmart factor in the HD format wars is far less important than many think.

That is an opinion, and an opinion only. What one can be sure of however is that what ever Walmart decides to carry, they will move in tremendous quantities. If the best price is what Walmart is after, then HD DVD will be their first choice.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackBee /forum/post/0


I think walmart is meaningless to the format war. HDMI, HDCP, DTS HD MA, TrueHD, PCM, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 1080p24, IME, BD-J, etc etc. These specs are needed to be learned, what they do, how to get them to your tv, configured and also calibrated. This is not the "walmart" crowd i see when i go get the cheaper alternative to Crystal Light and shaving cream. If anything, it will show how much time its going to take for the HD formats to really make an impact on DVD.


Then HD goes nowhere fast. C',mon,


I'm trying to remember if I ever got a piece of credible advice out of a BB floorwalker. I don't know about your BD player, but my XA2 was easier to use and set up than my Pioneer Elite SD. One cable, to video one to my amp, the machine itself picks the correct aspect ratio and resolution. I would have to select 1080p instead of the default 1080i, but my front projector is 1080i only. On audio most people will just pipe the works into their HDTV and deal with the TV's two-channel audio mix anyway.


Also, say your in the market for an A2 right now. Do you go to Best Buy and pay $300+ for the same machine that's $250 down the road? That would be the easiest $50 you ever saved, and all ya had to do was look in the Sunday paper.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Terrence /forum/post/0


If I were either formats manufacturers, I would stay far far away from Walmart. Walmart has a bad habit of not only bankrupting the competition, but also the companies that do business with them. Ask Rubbermaid and Vlasic pickles. Walmart killed both of them by forces prices prices down so low that they were not making a dime from a sale. They were selling more product, but making no money.

On the whole I don't like Walmart, but what you've just stated gives a good picture as to the power they have.
 

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Unless these HD DVD players sell at $50-75 with software at $10.00-15.00 each, I don't think they will sell either format well at Walmart. I was at Walmart last night actually (and I'm not even a hillbilly!
). I noticed they had Pirates of the Carribean 1 & 2 on Blu-ray for almost $30.00 each.....while the SD DVDs were selling for $13.00 and change. HD or not, the Walmart shopper is going with the cheaper version.
 
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