WESTON, Wis. (WSAW) Family Video, a chain outlet DVD rental store, sits off Schofield Avenue in Your Town Weston. For passersby, it's nothing more than a relic left over from the early 2000s, but some locals of Weston told NewsChannel 7 it's a place they visit as often as they go to the grocery store
"It's just another stop when you're running errands. It's nicer to rent videos than stream anyway because you actually have the disk in hand where you don't have to worry about buffering or internet issues that's going to affect the experience of the movie." regular shopper Eric Bergman said.
Bergman added it's just habit and a desire to view new release movies and games that keeps him coming back. For millions, the thought of traveling to a store to pick out a movie-- and even the thought of a physical DVD for that matter-- is a thing of the past.
Digital Entertainment Group's year-end report found that In 2017 US consumers spent nearly $6 billion more on subscription services like Netflix and HBO Go than they did on DVD and Blu-ray.
Disc sales were down 14% last year, falling to $4.7 billion, just one year after registering a decline of nearly 10%. The drop for physical rentals was even more pronounced. Brick-and-mortar rentals and kiosk rentals declined a combined 17%, falling to just over $2 billion.
So why is Family Video still open? It's true the DVD rental store has been strategic with promotions. Their most proud: Free kid movie rentals. However, it was the make or break decision at the corporate level to enter the real estate business.
"The thing that did Blockbuster in and Movie Gallery and those other rental chains was they didn't own the buildings that they operated in.-- they leased the space, whereas Family Video will buy the buildings and if we're able to, we'll lease the space out to other businesses" Weston Family Video manager Jordan Sheets said.
In Your Town Weston, a Great Clips and Murphy's Pizza is also housed in the same strip as Family Video. It's likely what is keeping the video store open.
"I've heard property management is a big part of why we're still going strong" Sheets said.
Sheets also believes the nostalgia Family Video provides to customers is worth more than a memory--it's something customers are willing to pay more. Customer Amber Bergman echoed that claim to us.
"It's something from when I was a kid, you know, coming to the store, picking out a movie, taking it home and then putting it in the player. So it's just something I never stopped doing" she said.