Trying to open video store. Help and advice wanted!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Kidd, Oct 1, 2001.

  1. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2000
    Messages:
    1,989
    Likes Received:
    320
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Living in Cincinnati, finding a good video store is extremely difficult. My wife and I are seriously considering opening a specialty video store in the Cincinnati area that carries obscure and cult videos and dvds. Basically, if Blockbuster doesn't have it, we will. Is there anyone out there who currently runs an independent video store who can give us advice on how we should get started? Who are the major distributors we should contact? What kind of software should we use for our rental system? What kind of money will it take to get started? I'm basically looking for any and all helpful information. Thanks so much for your help!
     
  2. Ben Motley

    Ben Motley Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Messages:
    738
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  3. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 1999
    Messages:
    11,267
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Opening up a video store is VERY hairy right now. Porn will be what saves you
     
  4. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2000
    Messages:
    1,989
    Likes Received:
    320
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Uh, thanks guys, but no porn. Anyone with any useful advice?
     
  5. Deane Johnson

    Deane Johnson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 1999
    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Brian, these posts may not be what you wanted to hear, but they are more useful than you might realize.
    If you will make a list of all your expenses connected with this, and a projection of what your income will be from rental of these movies, I suspect you will retreat from the idea very quickly.
    Deane
     
  6. Gavin K

    Gavin K Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2001
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    One of my first jobs, several years ago, was as a clerk for a mom and pop video store.
    Hardly anyone rented any catalog or older titles. Just new releases and soft-core porn. We didn't carry true porn, but got plenty of requests. And this was in a nice suburb of Houston.
    Since porn is not available at Blockbuster or Hollywood, it has become a viable way for a lot of small stores to stay afloat. I'm not sure what this says about our society, but hopefully with the popularity of DVD and the alleged end of rental pricing, more mom and pop stores can survive without relying on porn.
    Good luck to you.
     
  7. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 1999
    Messages:
    3,238
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'd say good advertising is your most necessary tool. I would love a store that carried hard to find titles. I buy a lot of films that I don't necessarily want to own simply because I can't rent them effectively. I would definitely belong to a rental outfit that cared about obscurity. However, I'm not aware of any. Strong advertising will find your target audience.
    I would not avoid carrying Godzilla, Independence Day, and the Mummy Returns. The same people who seek obscurity sometimes enjoy a popcorn diversion - and will likely be renters rather than owners of such titles.
    You'll probably find that the rental profit from "BIG" titles will help pay for the obscure titles that may not recoup for months or years.
    ------------------
    Rationality is not a commodity which is evenly distributed.
    Thank you Sci-Fi channel for Season 6 of Stargate SG-1
    View SpaceDog's DVD Collection
     
  8. Daniel L

    Daniel L Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 1999
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Brian,
    I've been observing this industry for the last ten years, and to be honest, it's not worth the effort.
    VHS is dying.
    DVD is a sell through product until the studios bow to Blockbuster's demands for rental pricing.
    With Blockbuster's recent commitment to renting DVD and starting to sacrifice their VHS inventory, something is in the works, but no sutdio's going to admit it.
    Trust me, owning a video store isn't worth the 60 - 70 hours a week out of your life.
    If you do bite the bullet and get into the business, porn is your only chance.
    Daniel L
    [Edited last by Daniel L on October 02, 2001 at 12:29 PM]
     
  9. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2000
    Messages:
    1,989
    Likes Received:
    320
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Hmmm. Disappointing, but you make a lot of sense. I definitely wouldn't carry porn, no matter what. Not my style.
    I have seen eclectic video stores that stay afloat. Let's face it, I wouldn't be catering to J6P and there aren't any other stores besides chains around here. We were thinking of opening up near a University, so I think we'd have a better chance of gaining a clientele. Plus, we would advertise in our local Arts papers.
    I'm gonna try and remain optimistic for the time being. I see it as filling a void in the local rental market. There's a store in Cleveland called B-Ware (I think) that has been around for a while and seems solvent. They specialize in the kinds of films that I would. Maybe I'll try and get in touch with them and see how they do it.
    Thanks for the input, though. I appreciate everyone's candor.
     
  10. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    19,461
    Likes Received:
    338
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Cees Alons
    For some reason, the wrong one (the medium), selling video is always combined (if it is combined with anything) with audio (CD-records). I always wondered why a more logical combination is so seldom tried: video and books.
    In my opinion the public who is really interested in film is mainly the same people who read books. Also, it would be a nice combination to have the original books and novelles in print as well as the films based on them on video.
    Because you think about opening a store close to a university campus, why not consider this relatively rare combination? You could have a new formula. It may certainly appeal to students!
    Cees
     
  11. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,258
    Likes Received:
    169
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Brian,
    I know the Cincinnati area well (my best friend, a prosecutor, and my brother both live there); in fact, my friend almost opened up a video store called "I Am Curious-- Video" in Northside a few years back. Actually, Shake It Records in Northside is going to have a video add-on as well.
    Porn actually is a stumbling block of its own in the Queen City, as the blue laws can be kind of strict. And opening a store in University Village might be a rough proposition-- despite its proximity to UC, the neighborhood has gone way downhill.
    Take a drive up to Columbus and check out Aardvark Video (if it still exists). They cater to the same market you're looking into.
     
  12. Luke_Y

    Luke_Y Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2001
    Messages:
    424
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think Cees has a great Idea (videos and books near a campus). I can also see what the others are saying. I've watched countless Indi video stores fold in a fairly short time frame. As an early adopter of DVD it used to be that you could only rent at Indi stores and I would rent at several of them. But looking back most of them are gone now. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Luke
     
  13. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2000
    Messages:
    1,989
    Likes Received:
    320
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Yeah, the area around UC is getting a little scary. We were thinking of looking into Newport, KY. They've just built a major shopping area on the riverfront there and so tons of people will be traversing through town on a regular basis.
    Also, the book thing sounds interesting. I don't want to diversify too much, just because I've seen too many store go belly up because they never really focused on one particular thing. I'll keep that in mind, though.
    Everyone's advice has been very helpful. Thanks!
     
  14. DeborahK

    DeborahK Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2000
    Messages:
    530
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Brian,
    There is an idependent store in Santa Monica, CA called Vidiots that is doing just what you want to do . It has been there for years -- at least 15 if not more -- so I guess it is possible to succeed at such an undertaking.
    Last time I was in there, several years ago, they carried mostly tape, but I am sure that has changed by now. As I recall, they worked on both a membership and a non membership basis. The membership was yearly and used to be around $20. Being a member entitled you to a lower per unit rental fee than the the non members and had some other goodies thrown in, and the rental fee for non members was about $1.50/film more than one of the big chains typically charged. It was a great place and they had every obscure and "little" title out there from "Theorema" to "Julia has Two Lovers," which despite the title is not a porn film, though mildly erotic. I don't live in Santa Monica anymore and it is a little out of the way for me, so I have not been there in a while but the number is (310) 392-8508 in case you want to call and inquire about their pricing and anything else they might be willing to help you with. I still recommend Vidiots to people who are looking for that one out of the way film they can't find in anywhere. Desparate people are usually willing to drive if they know you have what they want.
    For what it is worth,
    Deborah
    ------------------
     

Share This Page