Electronista: British store chain Woolworths yesterday revealed that it will switch exclusively to selling Blu-ray for its movie discs, becoming the first large-scale retailer to drop HD DVD entirely from its shelves. The decision comes after holiday sales where Blu-ray titles outsold HD DVD by a factor of ten to one at the UK chain and is credited largely to the Sony PlayStation 3, which Woolworths says gives Blu-ray a major advantage in terms of a viewer base. As many as 750,000 homes in the country own at least one device that can play the discs, far eclipsing the statistics for HD DVD, according to the retailer’s estimates.
The change takes effect in March and will see all of Woolworth’s 820 stores offer at least the top-ranked Blu-ray titles in their stores. Larger outlets are also expected to carry a significant number of extra titles. No American retailers already carrying HD DVD have said they would drop the format themselves, though some chains have said they would shift towards Blu-ray or start offering HD movies solely in that standard after Warner Bros. announced that it would switch to offering movies solely in Blu-ray versions by June.