How does a video store stay open in the age of Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube?
Diversification and a loyal customer base, says Tawny Artel of 2 Thumbs Up Video in Langford that boasts customers maintained since it opened in 1995.
Artel is “proud and happy to be one of the few left in Canada,” withstanding the elements while giants such as Blockbuster and Rogers fell.
Three years ago the company did get an upgrade with new ownership, says Artel who has been with the company for eight years. They diversified to include video transfer services, website design, renting video games for PlayStation and Xbox, delivery stop for UPS and will soon be a delivery stop for Purolator.
Artel feels 2 Thumbs Up Video would be able to survive renting DVDs alone because of repeat customers, but it would be much harder.
“That’s really your staple in a business like this, because it is a dying kind of business,” she said. “We see the same people all the time.”
The video store stays competitive by keeping their rental prices cheaper, at $4.25 per DVD, than On Demand, which is $6.99 per movie. They also have a specials on Mondays, $2 to rent a new DVD and $1 for older ones.
Fridays and Saturdays are their best days of the week, and include free popcorn for the kids. Artel said the summer months are slower because of the weather and their busiest and best months are December and January.
2 Thumbs Up Video is a family oriented store because Artel said going to the store to pick out a movie is “such a family thing to do,” and encourages people to bring their kids and pets in.
“This is an experience like nothing else,” she said. “We did it as kids, it’s great to see other kids get to do it as well.”