Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Redbox eyes 300 more rental kiosks in Canada

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TORONTO -- Redbox plans to install up to another 300 movie and video-game rental kiosks in Canada during the second quarter as the U.S. parent company turns its gaze north in search of room to grow.

The kiosk operator has signed an agreement with Petro-Canada that will see Redbox kiosks installed at gas stations, while more kiosks are planned at existing partners that include Loblaws, Giant Tiger and Walmart Canada.

"This partnership along with our growing footprint of existing retail partners fuels our national expansion in markets across the country," said country manager Ron Cihocki in a release.

The announcement comes after Redbox owner Coinstar reported Thursday profits plunged 58 per cent in the first quarter, as more Americans utilized services such as Netflix to watch movies, rather than leaving their homes to rent them.

But the rollout in Canada has been much slower than the company planned when it launched last May with machines which rent movies and video games for $1.50 each.

Last year, the company said it planned to have as many as 2,500 kiosks in Canada by the end of 2013, though so far it only has about 350 locations in Ontario and Western Canada.

Coinstar plans to change its name to Outerwall at its annual meeting in June, which the company says will better reflect its expansion beyond coin-counting machines and into its kiosks that rent movies, serve coffee and sell concert tickets.

Redbox is one of the most popular entertainment options in the U.S., with about 43,000 kiosks.

The Illinois-based company also has kiosks in select Shoppers Drug Marts, Safeways and convenience stores operated by Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 27, 2013 B9

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