Wait, what’s that? You didn’t think Hollywood Video was still around? Well they were. Were being the operative word there, as the Wall Street Journal is reporting that they will be shuttering the rest of their stores.
Over the past several months here in Portland, we’ve seen several locations sell through their rentals, at ridiculously low prices. Several weeks ago when we ran across the store in the photograph above, we managed to walk out the store with about 30 DVD’s for $30. Pretty good deal eh? Well let me tell you this: while I’m pleased with the DVDs I picked up, the hour long wait we had to endure to make it to the cash register was grueling. There were several dudes in the front of the line, with mountains of DVDs that were clearly not going to someones collection, but probably would find their way onto Craigslist, eBay, or some other second hand marketplace.
I was never a patron of Hollywood Video, as Blockbuster always managed to be closer / more convenient as I grew up. Over the past few years in Portland, we’ve made it a point to support local video stores like Movie Madness and Clinton Street Video, while also rounding out our DVD needs with Netflix.
While there are no dates given in the Wall Street Journal article, it’s safe to say that these stores will most likely be gone within a couple of months, so it might be a smart idea to start staking out those locations that are still open. I doubt they’ll let you put anything on hold until the deals hit, but it never hurts to ask. What does hurt is to point out to the employees that they’ll be out of a job soon, so don’t be a jerk about it. Don’t call every other day asking “when are you going out of business” or “when will the good deals start,” that’s just obnoxious. What might get you on their good side is if you bring them a box of donuts, or order them a pizza. Then you might find yourself scoring some Criterion DVDs for unreal prices.
What do you think? With Blockbuster near the edge of bankruptcy, are brick and mortar stores doomed with the shift towards online options like Netflix? Will you continue to support your smaller Mom & Pop video stores? Comment below.