Tesco (of the annoying "Every little helps" slogan,) is, according to the Guardian, moving into the film business. They are starting with direct to DVD, and there are plans to finance film adaptations of well known books, including YA classics Tiger Eyes by Judy Bloom and the Sally Lockhart books by Phillip Pullman (will Billie Piper be reprising the role, one wonders?)
It seems to me that this venture is possible because of the role supermarkets play in the United Kingdom as sellers of books. To quote the Guardian piece:
"The shift into film production is part of Tesco's effort to make the most of its growing influence as a retailer of mainstream books and home entertainment."
Perhaps this says more about my shopping habits than it does about retail potential in the United States, but it would never, ever occur to me to go to the supermarket to buy a book (just as, to be honest, I never think to shop for groceries at Walmart.) And yet, in Britain this is common. In fact, so great is the power of supermarkets as booksellers, that mega-chain Asda (which is owned by Walmart) were able to get former UK children's laureate Jacqueline Wilson to edit her book, My Sister Jodie, specifically for sale in their markets. Clearly, the power of one-stop shopping in the UK has led to what seems an unlikely partnership between produce and film production, but one which has proven successful and will no doubt be imitated if Tesco proves triumphant.