Fox hits U.K. streets with virtual vidstores

HMV partnership uses QR codes to shop for movies via mobile app

In a test to see whether it can sell more DVDs and Blu-rays to consumers on the go, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has teamed with British retailer HMV to create a virtual store on city streets.

Bus stop and other ads will feature QR codes that consumers can scan using their cell phones to purchase promoted films that will then be delivered to their doors within the first several days. The codes automatically launch hmv.com and the selected product page to complete the orders.

Fox’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “X-Men First Class,” “Rio,” “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” “Star Wars The Complete Saga,” the “Home Alone Collection,” the “Alien Anthology,” “Glee Season Two,” “Family Guy Season 11” and “24: The Complete Series” will be part of the mobile effort.

Venture is the first such deal Fox has experimented with using a mobile app. Should it prove successful, the studio is likely to expand it across the rest of the world with other retailers.

“We’re entering the busiest gifting season of the year when consumers are stretched for time and on the go with their mobile phone in hand,” said Robert Price, managing director, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. “With our virtual store, we’ve created new distribution points that previously didn’t exist, allowing consumers to instantly shop for everyone on their holiday list just by using their mobile.”

Outdoor media featuring Fox’s virtual store code will appear in London, Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Bristol, Glasgow and Edinburgh. To launch the QR code and shop, consumers will need a QR reader on their mobile phone or download the free app from getbeetagg.com.

HMV operates 250 stores throughout the U.K. and Ireland.