The End is Near . . . for Video Stores

A Blockbuster Video rental shop in the city of...
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Once upon a time, people could only rent videos from an actual brick and mortar video store. You got into your car, drove to the location and spent way too much time looking for the right movie. Video stores still exist, of course, but digital downloading, Red Box video distribution sites and DVD though mail options have taken a serious toll. As technology keeps developing, it seems likely that Internet downloading will kill off the remaining video stores.

Recently Blockbuster admitted that its business model was not working. The company filed for bankruptcy. For some reason, though, the chain continues to keep their stores on life support. When it comes to a big chain store like Blockbuster, the company cannot compete with smaller, faster organizations that can spot technology trends first.

Just because watching movies is as simple as a software download does not mean, however, that every video store is going under. Some of them, in fact, are doing very well. There are big differences between the types of video stores that are succeeding and those that are failing. The successful video rental stores tend to focus on niche markets. They don’t worry too much about the new Hannah Montana video. Instead, they spend time and money searching for obscure videos that customers cannot find anywhere else.

Most people won’t really care anything about these movies, but a few will. When the whole community gets involved, the business can thrive.

Currently, this business model works well for organizations in larger cities. Eventually, though, even they may feel the brunt of technology. Torrent sites and peer-to-peer programs give movie nerds the opportunity to share extremely obscure films with each other without paying a dime. When it comes to eliminating the small, local video store, it seems likely that the final punch will come from illegal sites rather than tech-savvy companies.

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