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No more breathing space for VHS in UK shops

UK High Street stores are to stop selling pre-recorded VHS tapes of the latest blockbuster film releases or television series.

Woolworths, the pioneer of the British retail video market, is leading the way with a switch to selling only DVDs. HMV has also dramatically curtailed sales of VHS tapes following a collapse in demand.

A Woolworths spokesman said: “We were the first High Street retailer to offer videos of Hollywood blockbusters when VHS was introduced in the early 1980s. Demand has fallen and some suppliers are no longer bringing out new films on VHS.

“We have not bought any new films issued in video format since Christmas and we are selling off existing stock in a price clearance sale in all stores and online.” But Woolworths will continue to sell blank video cassettes - at least for the time being.

The move follows a decision by the Blockbuster entertainment chain to stop offering any new releases for rent on video.

Dixons struck another blow when it recently abandoned the sale of standalone VHS players.

British Video Association spokesman said that last year, 95 DVDs were sold for every five VHS tapes.

Story filed 03.04.06

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