When I was a kid, the Saturday night treat was a trip to our local video store. Mum and Dad would take me to Blockbuster and I was allowed to choose one or two new releases to watch over the weekend.

A few years later, Blockbuster closed down, and we started going to Video Ezy. Fast forward five years, and that’s gone now too.

With the rise in technology and with the NBN (national broadband network) about to become available in Australia, it seems that the nostalgic trip down memory lane is harder to re-live with video stores shutting down everywhere.

According to Deloitte’s 2016 Media Consumer Survey, more of us are paying for the video content that we want – 22% of respondents pay for a subscription video on demand (SVOD) service.

The survey found that Millennials (14-26-year-olds) are the true digital natives. Millennials have a higher adoption of streaming in order to access TV content, increased willingness to pay for all forms of digital content and have more pronounced digital habits such as binge- watching and multi-tasking. It’s no wonder video stores are disappearing.

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However, there is one video store that seems to be doing it right. While every other store has been replaced by pizzerias and op shops, VideoBusters on Glenhuntly road has been bopping along and is the only VideoBusters franchise still open in Melbourne.

They think that there a few reasons why they’re successful in succeeding in this dying industry. First, the Elsternwick/Caulfield area has a high number of “older” people, who probably would not bother with streaming or any SVOD services. Secondly there are a lot of backpackers in the area who do not have the adequate internet services to watch movies online.

Furthermore, once a movie is out of the cinemas, it takes around 5-6 months for the movie to be available on Apple TV or Netflix, whereas the turnover is only a month a two to DVD. Being a generation of consumers who demand convenience, the millennials are even making the trip to the video store to watch the latest movies. Some customers even travelling up to 40 minutes to the humble VideoBusters.

The store has even expanded its services by offering VHS to DVD conversions. They’ve even started up a Twitter account, and a Facebook page too! And even though their followings aren’t anything to write home about, they get bonus points for effort. They understand that to target a younger demographic, social media is a great place to start.

So, if you’re scrolling through your Netflix queue and find yourself reminiscing of the good ol’ days, pop over to VideoBusters, or your local video store (you might have to do some googling as to where they are).

And just in case you want to some Ben and Jerrys or popcorn to go with your movie, they’ve got you covered on that front too!

What do you think? Are video stores a dying phenomenon? When was the last time you went to the video store?

Shelley Barr-Waanders

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