And then there was one

Windsor United Video owners Roy and Melinda Barnsdale sold one third of their stock in the first...
Windsor United Video owners Roy and Melinda Barnsdale sold one third of their stock in the first week of its closing down sale. PHOTO: LUISA GIRAO
The curtain is falling on one of the last video stores in the South.

After over two decades in business, the Windsor United Video is closing its doors next month.

Owners Roy and Melinda Barnsdale managed to survive through the rough market changes, but they decided it was the right time to "move forward".

It follows the closure of Dunedin's Valley Video in Kaikorai Valley - reported in the Otago Daily Times earlier this week.

The Barnsdales have decided to enjoy retirement years in their house in Stewart Island - after confirming a business proposal to lease the space.

"We tried to carry on as long as we could, but this opportunity came along and we decided to stop and think where we were heading. We decided that was a good way to go out before we were forced to be out." Mr Barnsdale said.

Mrs Barnsdale agreed and said the industry - unfortunately - was collapsing.

"It has been harder even to get stock. We had to import from Australia in recent times."

She said the store went from 2000 customers weekly to 600 in the past years.

"We coped with Sky TV, we coped with streaming ... We coped with all changes for the past 15 years. There is no other way to describe it - it's just sad."

The couple said these past few years would not have been possible without the support of their loyal customers, and to thank them, they are selling their whole stock, until November 1.

"We have some gems here," Mr Barnsdale said.

With the closure of the Windsor business, Invercargill will have only one video store: South City United Video.

Its owner, Daryle Blackler said he did not have any plans to close his store.

Even with less profit, he said people still enjoy the experience of going to a store and being able to choose movies.

"People can buy groceries online, but some people prefer to go to the market to choose the fruit. It's about a more personal experience."

He believed his store is the "largest one in the country", with about 100,000 titles.

The secret to keep the business alive was the ability to adapt to changes in the market.

"Before the pen, people used quill and ink or pencil ...You need to accept the change and think outside the box."

Mr Blackler said his place is "more than a video store" - he sells vinyls, comic books and even Pokemon cards.

"I don't need to close the store because I still make money here, so I can guarantee we will go for a long time."

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