June 18, 2007 - Today Blockbuster announced it is expanding its offering of Blu-Ray movies from its initial 250 stores (which stock both Blu-ray and HD-DVD) to 1,700 locations. The HD-DVD format is not receiving the same boost in supply. Both formats will continue to be available online and from the initial 250 stores that introduced the high-definition formats last year.
Blockbuster said the decision to multiply its Blu-ray stock by almost seven times its initial offering was made based on consumer demand.
"We intend to meet the demands of our customers and based on the trends we're seeing, we're expanding our Blu-ray inventory to ensure our stores reflect the right level of products," said Matthew Smith, SVP Merchandising for Blockbuster. "While it is still too early to say which high-definition format will become the industry standard, we will continue to closely monitor customer rental patterns both at our stores and online, so we can adjust our inventory mix accordingly and ensure that Blockbuster is offering customers the most convenient access to the movies they want, in the format they want."
Blu-ray rentals are significantly outpacing those of HD-DVD at Blockbuster. The retailer says it can "add HD-DVD to more locations if that's what customers tell us they want."
Beyond movies, the Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats are associated with Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360, respectively. A win in the format wars for Sony would be a win for the PlayStation 3. Blockbuster is the leader in the movie rental market, and the support it is giving to Sony's format is good news for the struggling PS3 (which many owners joke they currently use more for movie-viewing than gaming).