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Redbox installs first Manhattan kiosks

Lee Stewart
03-04-2009, 04:51 PM
Walgreens at Times Square, Empire State Building get machines

By Danny King -- Video Business, 3/4/2009
MARCH 4 | Redbox has installed its first two movie-rental kiosks in Manhattan, marking its effort to build sales and brand awareness in the largest U.S. market.

Redbox added its $1 per night rental machines in the Walgreens stores at the Empire State Building and at One Times Square. The closest kiosks to Manhattan had been in Shoprite stores in Jersey City and Hoboken, N.J., according to Redbox’s Web site. The company also has an indoor machine at a Stop & Shop in Brooklyn.

“More than 37 million customers have experienced the value and convenience of Redbox, and we are thrilled to introduce the service to thousands more in New York City,” Redbox marketing VP Gary Lancina said.

Redbox has led growth in the U.S. kiosk industry, which is expected to expand over the next few years as video store chains such as Blockbuster and Movie Gallery close underperforming stores. Redbox boosted its machine count to a current 12,900 from 6,550 last year through agreements with such chains as Wal-Mart and Walgreens, and said it will install as many as 8,000 new machines this year.

Despite the fact that is virtually the only growing retailer of DVD and Blu-ray Discs, Redbox’s $1 per night rental model does not sit well with many Hollywood studios. The company is suing Universal Studios Home Entertainment for the studio’s attempt to impose a kiosk window that would provide Redbox access to movies 45 days after the general DVD release, as well as limit the kiosk operator’s ability to sell used disc rental inventory.