STATEWIDE — It’s the end of an era.
Over the last half-decade, Family Video has held on as the last big brick and mortar movie and video game rental store throughout the United States, outlasting stores like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video.
On Tuesday, the dreadful news was sent to all remaining 200 stores that they would have to sell off their inventory and close for good by late February.
“This was the thing to do on a Friday night,” said Jessica Grose, the manager of the Family Video store in Shelbyville. “It’s sad. We’re going to miss so many people.”
Grose told WISH-TV that her business has been down 50-to-75-percent since reopening from pandemic shutdowns over the summer. Company leaders have come to the conclusion that there was just no financial way forward.
The news of the closure comes just months after Family Video district manager Kristin Drisko told 93 WIBC back in September that she was confident that the video store chain would be able to navigate successfully through the pandemic.
“The company has to make those hard decisions to say ‘we have to close some of these stores that just did not bounce back’,” she said in September. “Some stores were hit way harder with COVID than others and some just didn’t bounce back.”
Another reason for Family Video’s planned closure that Drisko touched on was the fact that Hollywood was, and in some cases still is, on lockdown. With the movie industry at a crawl or standstill, there are not many new movies for the company to push out there in order to draw in customers.
“You know, if we had this big title that would bring everybody in, it would have made a big difference but we didn’t have that,” she said.
Now, when you walk into one of the 20 remaining Family Video stores in Indiana, nothing will be available for rent, but everything will be up for sale. The plan is to close all stores by Feb. 28, but some stores may close sooner if they can sell off all their movies and games before then.
Thus, bring the brick and mortar video rental store into extinction.
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