SHAPE CEO OPTIMISTIC ABOUT VHS PACKAGING

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TUSCON, Arix. - Thomas Parkinson, president and chief executive of Shape Inc. in Portsmouth, N.H., said he is bullish about traditional VHS videotape packaging, seeing more multi-imaging-type packaging and using external material other than paperboard. The packages "differentiate through color on shelves themselves," he said.

Producers of family features are using color "to distinguish product on shelves and build some brand identity in packaging," said Ron Burdett, vice president of packaging products for Alpha Enterprises Inc. in North Canton, Ohio. Also, some smaller versions of the standard VHGS clamshell and "smaller versions of some injection molding pieces" are appearing.

Richard kelley, president of Cambridge Associates Inc. in Stamford, Conn., forecast U.S. duplication of 880 million prerecorded VHS units next year before the VHS version format begins a slow slide to duplication of 800 million units in 2001.