Family Video to close doors, including 58 in Michigan, as video trends shift
Family Video is closing its remaining stores nationwide, including 58 across Michigan, bringing an end to a once-popular ritual before video streaming became the new buzzword and Beta recordings got lost in the shuffle.
The Glenview, Illinois-based chain announced Tuesday that it would close about 250 stores.
"The impact of COVID-19, not only in foot traffic but also in the lack of movie releases, pushed us to the end of an era," said Keith Hoogland, CEO of Highland Ventures, the parent company that owns Family Video, in a statement. "I'm extremely thankful to our employees and customers that were instrumental in Family Video's success."
The last day for movie rentals at the stores is Jan 6, according to the company. A liquidation sale will take place until everything is sold. The sale includes movies, video games, fixtures and CBD products.
When reached by phone Tuesday, employees at multiple locations said they expected the sale to run until mid- to late February.
According to its website, the 58 Family Video stores in Michigan include locations in Westland, Livonia, Warren, Roseville, Berkley, Farmington Hills, Howell, Lansing, South Haven, Flushing, Burton, Kalamazoo, Jackson, Midland and Manistee.
"What began as a handful of 500 square foot video rental locations grew to 800 locations with up to 7,000 square feet of video rental and retail," Hoogland said. "Surviving 10 years longer than the big 3, Blockbuster, Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video, we were among the few that started with Beta, moved on to VHS and remained a part of the DVD and Blu-Ray Era."
The announcement of the closures comes about two months after the chain launched a #SaveTheVideoStore campaign, which included selling T-shirts with the slogan.
Family Video, started in 1978, outlasted the Blockbuster and Hollywood Video chains. Only one privately owned Blockbuster store remains in Bend, Oregon, according the store's website, bendblockbuster.com.
One fan remembered the video games that took up space with the movie video rentals. Tone McKinney of Taylor said he was saddened but not surprised because of the direction of the entertainment industry and the streaming choices for consumers who don't have to leave their homes.
“I was a little sad because Family Video, that was my place,” said McKinney, 26. “I know that everybody went to Blockbuster, but Family Video, that’s where I went to, specifically. I remember the weekdays, after I got off school just begging my parents to take me up there to rent some games.”
McKinney said he rented games for his first game system, Nintendo 64, and then his PlayStation 2.The store he visited as a youth on Northline Road in Taylor still is open.
“I was able to get ahold of something I didn’t necessary own, but being able to have it for a certain period of time and enjoy it. That meant a lot.” he said. “If I wanted it again, I could come back … I was like a kid in a candy shop.”