Family Video, the last video rental chain in the U.S., is closing its remaining 250 locations. The Springfield locations had already closed in September, with the exception of the store at 1802 North Grand Ave.
Construction is already underway at 3201 W. Iles Ave. and 930 W. Jefferson St. to convert those two former Family Video locations into Dollar General stores. In the past 10 years the company’s focus largely shifted to managing its real estate portfolio and leasing space to other businesses, including a partnership with Marco’s Pizza and sister companies such as Highland Pure Water and Ice, Digital Doc, StayFit 24 fitness centers and event animal clinics, through the Family Vet Group brand.
A 2017 Forbes article estimated Family Video’s real estate worth could be as much as $750 million and outlined company president Keith Hoogland’s strategy for using Family Video locations to grow the company’s real estate portfolio (“The last video chain: The inside story of Family Video and its $400 million owner,” Feb. 28, 2017). Sales from video rentals paid off the mortgage – typically within five years – and whether the location continued to operate as a Family Video or another venture, the underlying real estate remained valued.
The pandemic, which led to a lack of new movie releases in 2020 as well as store closures during stay-at-home orders, was cited as the reason for shuttering the remaining locations.
“While we have faced digital competition from Netflix and others for years, nothing has been as devastating to our business as COVID-19,” said parent company Highland Ventures in a written statement issued on Jan. 6.
Family Video will continue to sell movies and related products through its website.