QT to place Blockbuster kiosks in stores

QuikTrip is completing the installation of Blockbuster Express video rental kiosks around Wichita, part of an agreement the Tulsa-based convenience store giant reached with Blockbuster Express owner NCR in July.

The two companies officially became partners in July, after a year of testing in the Dallas-Fort Worth market that QT spokesman Mike Thornbrugh said was "very successful."

"It's something our customers have asked for and something we've looked at for a long time," Thornbrugh said. "We feel very comfortable with NCR Blockbuster, and it's a good time with the brick-and-mortar rentals going away."

The kiosks are being rolled out in almost all QuikTrip convenience stores in nine states: Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

Most of the kiosks will be placed inside the QT stores, Thornbrugh said. In Wichita, customers will see Blockbuster Express marketing logos on store floors to lead them to the kiosks.

"People don't really want to wait outside in inclement weather to rent a movie," he said.

"This program has all kinds of advantages for us — it's a good revenue source, it's something we know our customers want, and selfishly, we hope you buy some other items while you're in the store."

In 2009, NCR acquired two major kiosk operators, TNR and DVDPlay, to accelerate the expansion of its Blockbuster Express operation. According to its website, Blockbuster Express expects to have more than 10,000 kiosks nationwide by the end of the year.

NCR licenses the Blockbuster name for the kiosks but isn't otherwise affiliated with the movie rental company. There are 10 Blockbuster stores in the Wichita area.