Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros, the world's largest publisher of DVD titles, said in January that it would stop releasing movies in the HD DVD standard. Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, said yesterday it will phase out sales of HD DVD players and only offer products based on the Blu-ray format.
Another problem for Toshiba was that retailers and their staff prefered to sell Blu-ray. J.D. Power and Associates mystery shopper study has found that retail salespeople across the world are strongly recommending Blu-ray Disc players over HD DVD to their customers.
Chris Denove, J.D. Power and Associates VP, said that less than 1-in-10 retail salespeople recommended HD DVD to survey takers posing as shoppers for the syndicated, independent field study.
The HD disc study covered electronics salespeople in over 200 retailers in January. Mystery shoppers posed as people who had just purchased an HDTV and were looking for a nameless dedicated HD disc player.
The survey found 25 percent of all salespeople chose not to recommend one platform over the other. But of those who did, 89 percent recommended Blu-ray, and most of them "very strongly recommended Blu-ray, to the point that a typical customer would have had to think long and hard before buying HD DVD in the face of what salespeople are telling them about the two platforms," Denove said.
"Best Buy just issued a press release saying it's going to recommend Blu-ray. But, our data shows that they've been recommending Blu-ray all along, in fact, more so than the national average," Denove said "In fact, in January, we didn't come across a single Best Buy salesperson recommending HD DVD."
Denove said that typically CE retail sales people were quick to point out to their customers that there was a technology war similar to what occurred back when VHS battled Beta.