When Creston’s only remaining video rental store, Video Express, closed last year, Shane Gilmour saw an opportunity to start his own rental service, Video Fix, housed in a big red box in Overwaitea Foods.
“I’ve been watching the machines for a few years,” said Gilmour, whose parents owned the video store before selling it 15 years ago. “When the video store closed down, I told my wife we should buy one.”
So he and his wife, Grace, bought the machine and installed it in Overwaitea on Christmas Eve.
Currently the machine is stocked with about 150 movies, including current hits and a range of older films. All are on DVD, and Gilmour has started offering Blu-ray discs, as well, and is looking into games.
Video Fix is catching on slowly, he said. Some customers have commented that they feel intimidated by the machine, but the process is quite simple: Movies are selected on a touch screen, then customers swipe their credit card to pay for the rental, which is due back the next day.
Video rental are important locally, said Gilmour — while many people use Netflix and other services, Internet bandwidth limitations can make that difficult for others.
And while the box looks very similar to Redbox, which has 40,000 North American kiosks, Gilmour doesn’t have to worry about the larger company trying to cut into his business.
“They won’t come into small communities,” said Gilmour. “They need large volume.”