Clash of the Video Merchants

As tape dealers multiply, mom-and-pop shops are in peril

Owning a video store, which not long ago seemed like a can't-miss way to make a living, is getting to be as nerve-racking as sitting through a Steven Spielberg thriller. Last week videocassette retailers were in an uproar over the disorderly debut of the home-video version of Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Disgruntled shopkeepers claimed that some stores belonging to such giant chains as K mart, Wal-Mart and Waldenbooks had taken an unfair lead on competitors by putting the popularly priced ($29.95) Paramount blockbuster on sale as much as a week before its official release date. The chain...

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