Rentrak Corp., developer of the pay-per-transmission system of videocassette distribution, has established a chain store division aimed at such non-traditional video retailers as supermarkets, combination record/video retailers, variety and drug stores.The company had limited its sales to video specialty stores, which, until recently, accounted for almost 95% of the vid rental market. But now, according to senior VP of sales and marketing Michael R. Lightbourne, alternate outlets account for nearly 25% of rentals and are growing. To meet demand, the company has developed an in-house and outside team of experts with extensive chain store experience. Heading up the team is VP Leighton (Lee) York Jr., who will be developing a supermarket videocassette leasing program. “A group of 75 chains operate approximately 10,000 outlets and represent some 40% of the U.S. total food sales,” York said in a statement. “We have begun substantive negotiations with 30 chains, which represents half of this business, and are already shipping a number of stores from these chains.” Working with York is Andrew (Andy) Miller, national sales manager, chain store division. Miller’s experience in home/-video is in the specialized supermarket video rental area. Rentrak’s chairman Ron Berger, Lightbourne, York, Miller and a supporting management team will launch the new chain store division at the upcoming FMI Convention in New Orleans. Also, Rentrak and its joint venture partner in Japan, the Culture Convenience Club chain, announced that they had formed VMG to operate retail video rental and sale departments inside chain stores in Europe. While the first VMG stores are already open inside Tengelmann Food Stores in Germany, VMG expects to have more than a dozen stores in operation inside Tengelmann locations by the end of 1993.
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