No one likes to see the end of an era. Especially for something blissfully positive like the retail movie rental business.
The pending closure of Halifax, Nova Scotia’s “Video Difference” has brought up talk of the evolution in the business again. Video Difference does not seem bitter about it. Instead of complaining about the state of the business as some small retailers have done, they have reached out to say “thank you” to loyal customers and their staff past and present. The story of Video Differences’ closure was trending nationwide on Twitter for several days. Customers from across the country who were once residents of Halifax and Bedford commented on the closure via social media. It was great to see such a wave of positive commentary about this great business.
You could rightfully argue that the business has long been in decline for several years. With the rise in illegal downloading, Netflix and on-demand programming from television providers, the exit ramp signs were manufactured well before the slow starting vanish of retail video. It was rather pleasing to see so many small businesses survive and outlast Blockbuster Video. Blockbuster’s management generated a series of costly marketing mistakes which ultimately sped-up their demise. One must wonder how much money they spent on television advertising just to promote their policy of “No More Late Fees!”
There was a time in my youth where movie and video game rentals took up a significant part of each and every weekend. Those weekends and the rental places have multiple stories worth writing about another time. In the meantime, there are still many convenience stores across the country that still offer a selection of movies for rent. Many will no doubt continue to do so for some time. Continued technological advancement and greater access for consumers will result in those numbers dwindling further. So no one may really be able to predict when the business of video rental will actually come to an end.
Closures of places like Video Difference draw attention to the reality of the changing times. As tough as those changing times might seem, they are sometimes worth embracing for the positives that come with it. I join the large loyal group of customers that say Video Difference will be missed and fondly remembered.