Props: Family Video.
There are some part-time jobs that stick with you forever. No doubt, I will never forget the time I spent working at Family Video during college. If you aren’t familiar with Family Video, it is largest chain of privately-held video rental stores spread primarily throughout the Midwest. “Committed to being your first choice in entertainment.” And I had the privilege of working at two different locations during my college years.
“Do those still exists?
“Do people still go there?”
“Do they still have an Adult Room?”
One of these three questions was almost guaranteed after people discovered where I worked. And the answer to all of these questions is, “Hell yeah they do!”
South Park recently did an episode poking fun at Blockbuster, but Family Video continues to defy this common misconception:
Fam Vid Thrives While Competitors Perish
Unlike Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, Family Video has managed to survive the rise of Redbox, Netflix, and OnDemand by following the three most important rules in business, “Location, location, location.” They situate themselves in areas where these disruptive technologies are not prevalent, and so they continue to thrive. And with many of their competitors going out of business, Family Video is actually growing with 777 stores and counting.
Charlie Hoogland, the CEO, started Family Video after his father, Clarence Hoogland, was “stuck” with a large inventory of movies at his Appliance and Supply company. Charlie and his team had the idea of renting the movies out, and the rest is history.
And it’s truly a family business. Charlie runs the company alongside his sons, Keith Hoogland (President) and Eric Hoogland (VP). Rumor has it that the money made from the gumball machines alone pays the fuel bill for their private jet. I guess you could say that Hooglands are the Corleones of Movie Rentals.
I have to give it up for Fam Vid. The environment is unlike any other. There is something therapeutic about going to physically pick out your movie at a video rental store. Similar to walking into an old barbershop or bowling alley, you can’t help but feel like you are stepping back in time. The vibes are one of a kind. People are in a trance as they browse for movies… no one is in a rush. Time slows down, and the only choice you have to make is whether you want to laugh, cry, or pump up your adrenaline.
At the end of the day, the people that come into video rental stores are my favorite types of people. I’d highly recommend that you go check out a store near you. And if you are looking for a part-time job, I have two words for you… “free rentals.” Props to Family Vid still slangin’ cinema!