Wal-Mart Sees Disney Orders Jump, Benefiting From Amazon Dispute

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s online division began offering discounted pre-orders on Walt Disney Co. DVDs this week, a move that capitalizes on a feud between Disney and Amazon.com Inc.

Pre-orders of Disney movies such as “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Maleficent” are available at Walmart.com for 40 percent off, Dan Toporek, a spokesman for the company, said in an e-mail. The deal helped boost “Captain America” orders by 90 percent, while sales of other Disney titles rose 40 percent, Wal-Mart said.

The promotion follows Amazon’s move to block pre-orders of “Captain America,” a strategy that it also used in recent disputes with publisher Hachette Book Group and film studio Warner Bros. Amazon’s clashes with media companies have intensified in recent months as the Seattle-based company relies on hardball negotiating tactics. While the dispute with Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. got resolved, the spat with French publisher Hachette is still unfolding.

Consumers who want to own new releases are willing to shop around, said Richard Cooper, an analyst at IHS Inc. in London.

“If Amazon chooses not to sell Disney titles, then consumers will go and buy them elsewhere,” he said. “When they’re in season, they’re in season. Consumers want that product.”

Cat Kelty, a spokeswoman for Amazon, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The 40 percent discount on pre-orders is the lowest guaranteed price available, Wal-Mart said.

“The response has been strong,” Toporek said.

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