Hollywood Video is out of business and Blockbuster is down to one store. Family Video is the last video rental chain in the United States with less than 300 stores, one located in our own community.

“2020 has been hard on everyone,” said Emporia Family Video Store Manager Jack Greenwood. “Lots of businesses nationally and right here in Emporia, we have lost a handful of businesses to 2020, Family Video is no different. We started this year with over 500 stores and right now we are below 300.”

So, Family Video started the Save the Video Store campaign to promote the chain and to bring in new and returning customers. The campaign is so employees do not have to worry about the store closing, Greenwood said. Family Video moved the campaign to social media, encouraging patrons to take photos inside the store and share favorite memories using #savethevideostore.

Family Video also looked for different ways to promote business, by selling CBD oils , discounts and clothing. CBD oils have been the big revenue increase since rental revenue was lost to streaming sites.

CBD oils can help with pain relief, anxiety and depression, he informed. There will be Black Friday deals on the oils.

Along with combo deals on candy and movies, “We are encouraging people to come in and if they start their first account, they have 50% off all rentals for the first 30 days of their membership,” Greenwood said.

The store is also selling vintage t-shirts with the store logo and “Stranger Things” T-shirts. Family Video made an appearance in the second season of the Netflix original “Stranger Things.”

“We are also selling limited edition Family Video Hawkins, Indiana shirts where the show takes place,” he explained happily.

Although turning on Netflix, Hulu or Disney+ can be faster and easier, Greenwood wanted to highlight the benefits of physical media.

“We firmly believe that physical media is something that should be valued as equally as streaming,” he said.

At Family Video, there is no monthly rate like other streaming services. Patrons only pay for the movies renting, so money is saved in the long run. There is also a large catalog of movies, tv shows and video games. “If you are looking for a particular movie in our store and we do not have it, we can always order it for you from our warehouse,” Greenwood said.

RedBox no longer offers video game rentals and with no other video game store in Emporia, the only options are Walmart and Family Video.

“A lot of people think that during 2020 there hasn’t been any new movies,” he said. “But we actually have gotten new movies every Tuesday.”

Due to the ongoing novel coronavirus, they offer curbside and delivery options.

“We would love to see [customers] again. We are always willing to talk about their balance, maybe slash [the balance] in half for them,” Greenwood said. “We really want to get people in the store so we can stay here.”

Greenwood shared that he thinks it is cool that of all the 300 locations left, Emporia still has one. He wants to reach out to the community to bring them to the store and start renting movies. “We want the store to be around for their kids,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of Family Video, they love being here and want to be able to stay here.

Follow Family Video on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @familyvideo and take a photo with #savethevideostore. Visit the store from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday or from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday at 1012 Commercial St. Purchase merchandise on their website at https://www.familyvideo.com/.

(4) comments

bharz

Didn't Family Video get a sweetheart deal from the city to build on that site?

Rationa1

Your point is unclear, BHarz.

Bobbi Mlynar

No support that I am aware of. It wouldn't have met eco devo criteria, such as annual average salary of employees. Commission would have needed to approve that kind of thing.

Rationa1

Forgiving balances, delivery, and curbside services are excellent ways to adjust business models in these times. Good for Family Video for getting its message out there and for responding to the needs of their customers. The businesses that will survive this period are those that are agile and nimble and find new ways of doing business that address customers' needs.

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