Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Rogers dies: the ongoing saga of the death of the video store

NOTE: the below has been amended. I had been (mis)informed by the manager of the last surviving Rogers Video in Maple Ridge that all Rogers rental stores were closing. This is not the case - locations remain open in Vancouver and elsewhere. Mea culpa! So what's below has been edited...

Hard to believe how fast things have happened. When, in April - a mere eight months ago! - I wrote my obituary for video stores, Blockbuster and Rogers still had hundreds of locations across Canada, and Videomatica hadn't announced its closure. Now Videomatica's rental location is empty (though its sale store appears to be flourishing in the back of Zulu Records), Vancouver's gargantuan HMV (not a rental store, obviously, but still a major source of physical media in the city) is weeks away from shutting down, Blockbuster has undergone a two-tiered store closure and no longer exists anywhere in North America, and - I discovered today - Rogers Video is now doing the same with all but its busiest locations - which will have a very direct impact on me: now that I've accepted busing some twenty blocks out of my way to rent movies - which is what I did today, and how I made this discovery - I learn that in fact, in a week's time, Maple Ridge will be left without a single video store (one little indy still exists in Pitt Meadows, so intent on bucking the trends that they still rent VHS tapes as well as DVDs. Pity they don't have anything like a decent selection of movies). Actually, I should amend that: there is one Asian convenience store with a small selection of new arrivals, who may emerge as the successful "last man standing" of this die-off. It's not exactly going to suit my needs.

Anyhow, all you scavengers near closing Rogers locations (like the one at Hastings and Slocan, a few blocks west of the PNE) better get scavenging. The one I was at had "Buy One Get One Free" sales on all their rental stock (mostly priced at $9.99 or $14.99), and the shelves were already looking kind of bare...

One caveat, though - don't count on closing locations to honour your point cards. No points are being given for purchases, and all sales are final. Cry if you want.

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