It’s hard to believe that anyone would want to buy a DVD player in 2018, but apparently many retailers were still selling them. Thankfully, one retailer has announced that it’s ditching the antiquated technology, with John Lewis confirming that the DVD player has been officially discontinued from its line-up.
The DVD player has had a good run. The first DVD player was launched over 20 years ago in 1997 and they’ve come a long way since then. Having started life at a price tag of hundreds of pounds, they can now be picked up for as little as £20, but even the low prices couldn’t tempt users into purchasing them in 2018. That’s because higher quality Blu-ray players are now readily available, and they too have seen a massive price decrease. The first Blu-ray player sold for $3,800 when it was made available in Japan back in 2003, and yet now UK consumers can pick up a Blu-ray player for just £30.
It’s not just affordable Blu-ray players that have been killing off the humble DVD player. In fact, they too have been struggling for relevance in a world dominated by streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Video. The convenience to watch as many movies as one wants and not have to find the space to store hundreds of discs is too alluring for some users, and it’s the rise of streaming media that could be held responsible for John Lewis’ reported 40% drop in DVD player sales.
While John Lewis hasn’t physically pulled the DVD player from it shelves, the firm says that it won’t be ordering any more DVD players once the current offering sells out.
Big Screen TVs Killing Off The Small Screen
While the DVD player is being hurt by streaming media, small screen TVs are suffering from the low prices offered by bigger screen sizes. With it now possible to pick up a 55in TV for just over £300, it’s no wonder consumers are flocking to the screen size. In fact, John Lewis says that 55in is now its most popularly sold screen size, compared to 36in just eight years ago.
Many consumers still aren’t happy with 55in, which is why John Lewis says that during the World Cup season, commonly the most popular time to buy a TV, it saw a huge jump in sales for 70in models. It didn’t provide numbers for the growth, but said it was the biggest jump, trailed by 60in TVs, which had sales up 249% in 2018.
While John Lewis claims that big screens are winning out to smaller TVs, it is a high-end retailer, and therefore its clientele can be expected to purchase more expensive products, such as large screen TVs. That may not represent the market as a whole, although with prices now as low as they are for 55in TVs, it wouldn’t be surprising if it remained the most popular screen size.
Smart Devices See Explosive Growth
The one area that John Lewis is seeing explosive growth is in smart devices. The retailer has been confident in the smart home market’s resilience, even going so far as to open dedicated smart home zones, and it seems that the bet is paying off. According to the retailer, smart doorbells were amongst the most popular device, with sales up 367%.Robotic lawnmowers were not far behind, with sales up 75%.
It’s the growth of smart devices that could be killing the bedside clock also. John Lewis has cut its bedside clock range by a third following a 16% slump in sales, and that’s largely because many consumers have found a replacement for the humble clock. That could be anything from a smartphone to a smart display.