Red Box spreading across the country, taking rental business with it

By: Joe Gagnon Email
By: Joe Gagnon Email

Throughout the country the Red Box is popping up everywhere.

We see them at grocery stores, restaurants and even drug stores.

But not everyone is excited to see this business prosper.

There’s no question it’s convenient.

It never closes, no late fees and it’s simple to use.

But compared to local video rental stores, some customers say the Red Box video kiosk has its downfalls.

The machine is known for having the latest in box office hits, but Video Plus Owner Dennis Stark says compared to his store.

The availability of those hit movies is small.

There are about 100 DVDs in a kiosk, compared to more than 12,000 at Video Plus.

And the store staff takes care of their product. They have the technology to fix any damaged disc or tape.

In a Red Box, movies can come back damaged and there’s no one to fix it.

Stark says, “People get tired of it and they start coming back.”

Because there’s no staff to help make a selection, anyone with a credit card can get any move.

Meaning someone underage can get any rated R film inside the machine whereas with video rental stores employees will check IDs of anyone who comes in.

But one thing is for sure, the Red Box business is booming with 15,000 locations nationwide. Thousands of locations that are taking video business.

Stark says, “We dropped 17% right away.”

But even after that dip, local stores don’t plan to go anywhere. “We prove to be a hard breed to get rid of,” Stark says.

Blockbuster Video announced Tuesday they plan to close more than 900 stores nationwide, shrinking the chain by more than 20 percent.

No word yet if our local stores are among them.


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