Like the VHS cassette that once stocked its shelves, the video store will soon be obsolete in the Glove Cities.
The last survivor, Video World, which is owned by Jim Carbone, will soon close its doors for the final time, as store Manager Brian Edick recently announced the store started selling off its merchandise last Monday.
Video World opened in 1985 and Edick said he has managed the Johnstown store for 9 1/2 years.
The front of Video World in the Johnstown Mall is shown as “Going Out Of Business” signs are posted on the front windows Thursday in Johnstown.
The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo
It had been a tumultuous several years for the company as it fought to stay afloat amid competition from Netflix and Redbox.
Several years ago, the company had two locations, one in Johnstown Shopping Center in the city, and the other in the Arterial Plaza in the town of Johnstown. However, in late 2010, owner Jim Carbone closed the Arterial location, leaving only the Johnstown store.
Late last year, Video World moved across the street into the Johnstown Mall due to what Edick said in an email was high rents. Rent-A-Center is due to take the location vacated by Video World.
The move didn't help.
"Since our move, we have noticed a decline in business," Edick said in the email. "The major complaint I heard about our new location was 'You guys are too far away from the parking lot, too far for us to walk.'"
Edick said he paced the walk as 60 paces from the entrance to the Johnstown Mall to the store's location next to the Movieplex.
"Now everyone will get to enjoy the fine customer service provided by a red vending machine," Edick said.
Over the past several years, the Redbox kiosks have been showing up in Walmarts and Price Choppers and other stores throughout the area.
Coinstar Inc., which operates the Redbox kiosks, proved there still is a market for low-priced DVDs, while Netflix and others focus on streaming video. Redbox's revenue grew 34 percent in the first quarter, most of those gains coming from the nearly 37,000 kiosks nationwide that dispense DVDs for $1.20 per month.
Redbox has been picking up more customers while Netflix raised prices by as much as 60 percent last summer.
Netflix officials said the company suffered its first quarter loss in seven years during the first quarter of 2012, but the setback was smaller than expected. Netflix has been dealing with rising licensing fees and a bill for an international expansion. Despite all that, Netflix officials said they expected to be profitable in the first quarter. Still, Wall Street was worried about tougher competition. Skittish investors keyed on a second-quarter forecast that calls for a slowdown in subscriber growth during the spring and early summer.
Local video stores have been hammered by the national competition over the past several years. Movie Gallery has been closed for about five years and still sits vacant near Subway in Gloversville. Its parent company, Movie Gallery Inc. filed for bankruptcy and liquidated its assets two years ago.
In the fall of 2009, Captain Video, which still sits vacant on Fourth Street in Gloversville, also shut down.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. Mike Zummo is the business editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.