Latest to launch a movie download store - and the latest amongst the supermarkets to try their hand - is France's Carrefour. The world's second largest retail group after Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is to offer download-to-own and download-to-rent films and TV shows in France, Spain, Belgium and Italy. President Christophe Geoffroy (via THR): "It's very important for Carrefour to have more than one point of sale. We have to be in contact with the consumer in their homes as well as in-store. We know full well that the market forecast for VOD is low at the moment, but we are convinced that it will develop over the coming years and we want to provide a legal solution for customers to see the best possible content." In the UK, Tesco plans to begin offering movie downloads, but it's not yet clear whether supermarkets can replicate their impulse in-store DVD purchases in to specific online sales. Wal-Mart canned its download store in December after making what was said to be only "peanuts" in relative terms. Carrefour runs the 5 minutes and 8 a HuiT convenience stores as well as its eponymous hypermarkets.
By Robert Andrews