After 27 years of operation in Northeast, the owners of Video Stardom in the Quarry Center have announced that the shop is going out of business. The video rental store will be close in August and is in the process of liquidating its merchandise.
Owner Craig Belisle and his wife made the decision to shut the store down back in February after reducing the store’s 5,000 square foot space by half to lower costs. A T-Mobile store took over the other space, and while the decision cut expenses, it presented other problems. Many customers mistook the construction as a sign that the video store had closed. The T-Mobile store also reduced the store’s visibility to shoppers entering the Quarry Center by placing another retailer between the store and traffic.
Of course, these were smaller issues compared to some of the other challenges that had developed for the independent retailer. “In the old days, your competitors were Blockbuster and Hollywood Video,” said Belisle. “Now there are 20 different reasons [to close]. Redbox did the most damage because it undervalued the material. But there’s also Netflix, cable on demand, pirating and the recession.”
Belisle said that the movie industry was too slow to figure out a way to work with video stores after the introduction of Redbox. The agreement between movie studios and video services to delay new releases to Redbox, Netflix and other services by 28 days to give video stores a chance to compete helped a little, but was ultimately too late to save the struggling rental industry.
After Video Stardom closes, there will not be a single traditional video rental store left in The Journal’s coverage area (there will still be a handful of small ethnic and adult rental stores). The store is also one of the few remaining rental shops anywhere in Minneapolis.