The ways in which movie lovers have been able to rent their favorite flicks have been changing rapidly over the last decade. People used to rely on video stores to borrow new and old movies, but since the advent of online streaming services, like Netflix and Hulu, you don’t need more than internet access to watch anything, anytime.
However, Jennifer Barnes at Washington’s Family Video store believes that the popularity of services like Netflix maybe only played a small part in the store’s upcoming closing.
“Dollar General will be leasing the building from Family Video, and we are not relocating,” Barnes said.
Despite a noticeable decrease in store products over the last few years, Barnes said that the Family Video team only learned of the closing a few weeks ago.
After the Blockbuster video rental chain closed all of its stores in 2010, the trend for renting in-store saw a decline. Though Netflix launched its streaming service in 2007, it didn’t begin international streaming until 2010, and in 2013, it premiered its debut Netflix Original Series “House of Cards.” “Hemlock Grove” and “Orange Is the New Black” followed shortly after, at which point the number of subscribers, including international subscriptions, reached over 44 million. Today, Netflix has earned 158 million subscribers.
A study in 2019 found that 62% of respondents subscribe to some sort of video streaming service, and with the number of options increasing — in 2019 alone, both Disney and Apple launched their own streaming services — it isn’t surprising that in-store rentals would begin to suffer.
For Washington’s Family Video, however, film fans can still stop in and see what’s for sale.
“Everything is for sale,” Barnes said. “We have different pricing for the sales, but there are signs up everywhere. It’s all going well so far.”
According to Barnes, Family Video, located at 310 S. SR 57, will be closing its doors on Jan. 13.