Blockbuster in QXL deal to sell ex-rental videos

Video and DVD rental giant Blockbuster has linked up with QXL, the online auction site, to sell ex-rental stock on the Web.

The non-cash deal gives QXL free brand presence in Blockbuster’s 673 UK stores, on its home page (www.blockbuster.co.uk) and in The Scene, Blockbuster’s free monthly magazine which goes out to 600,000 customers.

In return, Blockbuster gets free access to QXL’s customers through a specially co-branded auction page – also accessible from QXL’s growing number of European territories – and the opportunity to “host” weekly charts for video, DVD and music on QXL’s home page. There will be a series of promotions and competitions on both sites linked to the latest film releases and celebrity news.

The move is the latest in a long line of on- and offline alliances from QXL, and is billed by chief executive Jim Rose as “an extremely exciting partnership. We are providing Blockbuster, a brand synonymous with home entertainment, with a new retail channel for e-commerce.”

Steve Middleton, European director for the Internet at Blockbuster, says: “Online auctions are a new route to market for us and QXL is clearly the leader and preferred partner in this space.” He admits, however, that “we could survive without it [the deal] but hopefully this will add to both of our businesses. It’s difficult to say at this stage just how many of our respective online customers are mutually relevant.”

Blockbuster has been offering an e-commerce facility through its Website since December, when it was relaunched. Middleton claims traffic has “probably trebled” as a result. The new look is “quite sticky, interactive and very entertaining.” Blockbuster has had a Web presence for the past two years.

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