It reminds me of the entrepreneurial nature of why VCD or DVD sellers in Malaysia are so popular and successful. A couple of years back I had the opportunity to run a mega shopping centre and what kept the mall alive during the economic crisis were the DVD sellers. They are friendly and not demanding bunch as they would rent any space you give them and best of all, they pay cash for their rentals and on time.
Here are some other reasons :
Meeting the Market Demand - the always have the latest and best movies available. And most of the time, they rarely run out of stock of popular DVD titles. And no matter how many customers they have in the store, they can always find the right DVD using their magic 4 digit coding system.
Wide and Deep Product Line - they carry wide range of products, some even have the whole popular TV series season in a nice package. And if that's not enough, they have ample supply of accessories such as MP3 music, DVD jacket sleeves or folders.
Time to Market - most often, they will have the latest movies, at time even those currently showing currently in the cinemas. Those wanting to catch up with the latest TV series, can easily obtain the full latest season.
Close to Market / Consumers - most DVD vendors understand the concept of location location location. Find a popular "pasar malam" (night market) and the DVD sellers are there. They are in shopping malls, your favorite Starbucks or mamak stores, in your neighborhood retail area. Some DVD sellers in areas such as SS2 or SubangJaya even open till late hours to cater to the midnight supper crowd. I bet some will even deliver to your house if you are a regular enough customer. Similarly, in Beijing one can sip their latte in the favorite coffee joint while being served by the ever willing DVD peddlers, who would patiently wait for you to make your choice selections and then promptly deliver your DVDs to your table without fuss.
Prompt and Quick Service - normally manned by 2 or 3 young guys, they can whip out the shiny disc of your chosen titles in less time it takes for you to pull ringgit out of your wallet. Except for when they need to get the discs from nearby (due to the authorities crackdown) they can normally deliver 10 titles to you in less than 5 minutes. Most are run by energetic young people and ready to offer their opinion and reviews of movies
Product Knowledge - some DVD sellers even provide latest Blockbuster reviews of latest movies or recommends movies depending on what the customer enjoys watching. There are times, customers who are just browsing can ask them for recommendations and reviews.
Excellent Customer Service - DVD sellers are always a friendly lot, and if you are not happy with the discs, they will swap it for you. They will never chase you out at closing time... often patiently waiting for you to make your selections without hassling you.
Simple Effective Marketing Programmes - some have implemented frequent customer card (ala Starbucks style). If you gather 10 stamps, you are entitled to one free DVD. Their simple little card has kept customers loyal, and there is never a problem if you forgot your loyalty card as they gladly give you another. No fancy advertising, just go where people are hovering over tables in night market, chances are you will find the DVD peddlers.
Standing Behind their product - Any blurred or cam job movies, they will take it back. Some even take back movies you don't like and didn't think its up to your taste.
Piracy and politics aside, on a scale of 1 - 10, I give them a full 10 and think DVD sellers excel really well in their entrepreneurial ability and their market and customer focus. Now, if only half of the Malaysian retailers or government departments follow the principles and the spirit of entrepreneurialism of the DVD sellers... the world would be a better place for us customers, I should think....