If you thought giant national video rental chains like Blockbuster were hit hard by the recession and the stiff competition from more convenient options like Netflix, consider the plight of the independent video store.
Such small businesses in this day and age face numerous challenges, and the odds are easily stacked against them. Fewer and fewer consumers are visiting traditional brick-and-mortar stores for their film fix, instead ordering movies from the comfort of home. Rental kiosks continue to grow in popularity; they offer everything a video rental place does, minus that snarky cashier silently judging you for renting “Love, Actually” again. Now, add in the fact independent stores don’t have millions of dollars behind them.
The Video Buyers Group, which represents over 1,000 independent stores, canceled its yearly meeting due to similar economic concerns.
The VBG’s president Ted Engen told members, “This was not an easy decision to make, especially when one factors in the success and support from retailers, vendors and studios that we’ve had for this event over the years. However, with everything this is occurring in the video industry, along with a struggling economy, tight budgets and the escalating cost of travel, we feel postponing this year’s event is the right decision.”
The group boasts 25 years helping video retailers turn a profit by providing “product research, accurate information, marketing programs and new sources of revenue.” Certainly, the last two are extremely important considering recent industry trends. Simply ringing up a rental and collecting late fees won’t cut it when competitors are ditching that archaic model and finding success in the process.
While the gathering is a bust this year, Engen wouldn’t close the door on possible future events. “We hope to again host this one-of-a-kind event in the not-too-distant future.” (Via Home Media Magazine)