TWICE is reporting on a study by J.D. Power and Associates and Market Force Information which shows that retailers have been heavily promoting Blu-ray to shoppers, even before the recent announcements. In January they sent secret shoppers into 200 retail outlets posing as consumers who recently acquired an HDTV and were looking for a high-def disc player to go with it. Around 25% of sales reps didn’t recommend a format, but of the 74% who did, 89% recommended Blu-ray. And, in fact,â€œvery 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” according to Chris Denove, J.D. Power and Associates VP.
While Best Buy announced they would officially promote Blu-ray just this past week, de facto they seem to have been promoting it as far back as at least January. In the study, not one Best Buy rep recommended HD DVD. Reps were also quick to mention the format war, and were already declaring Blu-ray the winner:
â€œWithout even being asked about the battle for DVD supremacy, half the salespeople told our shoppers that there was a battle going on and Blu-ray either was already the winner (or would become the dominant player in the end),â€ [Denove] said.
â€œAbout a third of all salespeople said our shoppers should choose Blu-ray because of the strength of the companies behind Blu-ray,â€ Denove said.
The only advantage mentioned for HD DVD in the 200 visits was pricing, and not one sales person suggested that HD DVD might win the format war. Combo players didn’t fair well either, only 7% of sales people even suggested combo players as an option. It seems that sales people were personally so convinced that Blu-ray would win that they didn’t feel the need to suggest combo players, or HD DVD.