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BIG RAPIDS – Big Rapids residents will have to find an alternative to movie video and game rentals as Family Video on State Street closes its doors for good later this month.
Highland Ventures, parent company of Family Video, made the decision to close the store because of lagging sales and an offer from a tobacco company that wants to set up shop in the space, according to Manager Emily Perry.
“Video rental business has taken a downturn over the years and having to close the physical stores because of the COVID-19 pandemic hurt the company economically,” Perry said. “COVID-19 hurt a lot of business, and I am sure the tobacco company offered them a really good deal for the lease.”
Between now and Jan. 18, the company will be selling all of its video and CBD products at discounted pricing in preparation for the closure.
“We will be offering really low prices on our ‘pre-viewed items,’” Perry said. “Everything is marked down from the sticker price. Right now, $4.99 movies are marked down to $2.99.”
The store is no longer bringing in any new movies, and they are no longer offering rentals, she added.
In addition, all CBD products will be offered at a 40% discounted price.
After having success using CBD oil for elbow pain, Highland Ventures CEO Keith Hoogland decided to start selling it in all the Family Video stores, assistant manager Josh Newlin told the Pioneer at the time.
The goal was to sell THC-free products so that people could use it as an alternative to medical marijuana, he said.
Despite that, the Family Video store has been downsizing over the last two years.
In September 2019, the store was divided into two separate spaces to make room for a Hungry Howie’s Pizza franchise, which opened in early 2020.
The following year, in September 2020, the store downsized once again making room for Big Rapids Foot and Ankle to move into part of the building.
“I am very sad that we are losing the store because a lot of people in our area don’t have access to internet or cable,” Perry said. “This was a cheap alternative that a lot of people in the area used, so it is really sad.”