Video stores struggle to compete with online retailers
June 11, 2011
Filed under Feature
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When companies like Netflix, On Demand and Amazon make movies more convenient, it means fewer trips to the video store — good for customers but not classic video stores. Video stores across the country are closing as people forgo a trip to the store in favor of the speed of the web.
Potomac Video’s Sangamore branch has felt this impact. The store will close down June 12, but the store’s other two locations on Macarthur Blvd and Connecticut Ave will remain open.
“The store’s closing is disappointing because it was really convenient for me,” said junior Allie Klein, who lives near Potomac Video.
It’s not the only video store closing: Hollywood Video, the country’s second-biggest rental chain, announced its plan earlier this month to close all of its remaining stores. The chain declared bankruptcy in May 2010.
Although Potomac Video’s manager Rick Magee acknowledged that competition from Netflix and On Demand has put stress on the movie rental industry, he said it’s not the only reason video stores are going out of business.
“Blockbuster was crushed by its excessive late fees,” Magee said. “Blockbuster and Hollywood were also trying to compete with Netflix, rather then focusing on renting from the store, which hurt them a lot.”
Employees are trying to clear out the store as quickly as possible.
“We’re trying to sell as many movies as we can,” Magee said. “All previously viewed movies are currently being sold for $5 dollars, and new releases for $10 dollars. The rest of the movies will be split up between our other two branches.”
Magee hopes customers will still visit Potomac Video’s other branches. The store is distributing coupons and flyers to encourage costumers to transfer their business.
“What we are hoping is that costumers will instead go to our other two stores,” Magee said. “We’ve known this was coming for a while.”