RIP: My Video Store

January 31, 2010

This weekend marks the closing of a place near and dear to me: my local video store. The store, a sort of mom and pop operation has been losing business to Redbox, Netflix, cable television and even online viewing.

Before I moved a couple years ago, I used to live so close to the store that I could take out the garbage and get a movie in one very quick trip.  I’ll miss the $3 rentals for new releases ($1 on Tuesdays) and $1 rentals on older movies.  However, more than anything, I’ll miss the interaction recommendations from my friend Eddie and his manager (I never caught his name).

Before going to this video store, I rented from Blockbuster where prices were higher and service was less personal. Sure, they said “hello” to me every time I walked in, but they never had time to shoot the breeze with me about movies and music like my friend Eddie.

I can’t help thinking that our world really loses something special when the small mom and pop stores go out of business.  We lose a sense of community and customer service — and because there’s less competition, things usually end up costing more.

In honor of all the conversations I had with Eddie about classic rock musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and (especially) Jeff Beck, here’s a performance from Jeff Beck that is nominated for won a Grammy Award for best rock instrumental performance this evening. It’s also an awesome version of an already great Beatles tune.

1 Nadia - Happy Lotus January 31, 2010 at 11:25 am

Hi Tim,

That is sad. Seems everything is becoming a super size store. I love when I walk into a store and actually know the people who are helping me. I have that with some stores but everything else is becoming so impersonal.

One of the reasons why we want to move is that we feel that where we live there is no sense of community. When I was growing up, you knew your neighbors and talked to them. Now where we live, no one talks to each other and if you try, they get all nervous.

Hopefully, this will change.

2 Lance January 31, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Hi Tim,
Most of the video stores around here have closed too. The message you share is an important one, this idea of community. I remember growing up, and going with my dad to the little general store (actually that was pretty much the only thing except for a cheese factory in this tiny town). It was a gathering place. I’d get a sucker. And we would be there for half an hour. Gone today. And it does take a way a bit of that community feel. Which is something that is really good to hold onto…
.-= Lance´s last post…Sunday Thought For The Day =-.

3 Tim January 31, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Hi Nadia: I know what you mean about community. In my case, living in the big city can make this sense of community harder to find. I say we really need to support those businesses that have great service and make us feel welcome…even if they sell something that’s a little more expensive. It sounds like you will be in a better situation once you get out of your area. Good luck with this!! In the meantime, we have our virtual community and I’m glad your part of mine.

Hi Lance: Thanks for sharing your story. I bet it was fun to hang out with your dad and his “friends” at the store. I used to go to the cleaners that was in my neighborhood and would see the same guy all the time. We talked about the Beatles a lot and after he got a DVD copy of the Beatles Anthology movie, he gave me a VHS copy of the set. It was totally unexpected and I wanted to give him some money for it, but he insisted on not taking any money for it. When I think of that, I really feel a sense of friendship and community. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great week!

4 Ryhen | Mind Power February 2, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Indeed, it’s pretty sad that things like this need to happen. Everything in our society is moving faster each year and mom & pop type of business operations are getting phased out incidentally. I’m not really sure where this is all heading but I sure like the good ol’ days.
.-= Ryhen | Mind Power´s last post…The Search For "The One" =-.

5 Tim February 3, 2010 at 7:45 am

Hi Ryhen: I hope I did not come off like an old man who is resistant to change. I know change needs to happen and I’m good with it and getting used to it…actually Seth Godin touched on this on his blog yesterday. That being said, the experience of standing outside my local grocery store at a Redbox in the middle of winter is not going to be as enjoyable as going into the video store and talking about movies with someone I know. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

6 Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord February 4, 2010 at 6:13 am

I’m sorry your favorite rental store is gone. I’m going to take a different approach to the idea of mom&pop stores shutting down, though, and say that we’re building a mom&pop feel in new ways these days. For instance, the blogosphere has created a brand new way for people to connect, share opinions, make recommendations, and more. It seems we’re moving things online, in many respects. Whereas people once wanted to make money by opening a physical store somewhere, now they’re doing it on the computer. Same concept (if you stretch your mind), just different application.

Speaking of all that, I really love visiting your blog. It’s my own version of a mom&pop. (smile)

Be well & joyful!

7 Tim February 4, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Hi Megan: Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words about my mom & pop location :) You are right about the internet and the possibilities it brings for us to meet each other. When I respond to comments here and visit other blogs, I kind of imagine it as a virtual coffee conversation. I’ve had some amazing coffee shop conversations in recent months as well as some awesome interaction with visitors who comment here and it feels a lot like a community experience. I think our avitars really help us to feel the connection as well. Have a good one!

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