View Full Version : DVD Rental = Shopfront & Online

11-02-2006, 06:36 PM
Hi all, i'm John a newbie here lookin for some opinions.

I live in a part of St Albans where recently a small parade of shops has been bulit and opened.
There are a Spar, a Gym, Doctors, Indian Take away, chemist and an empty shop to let.

There are many new houses (10 years old) surrounding these new shops and i have been trying to think of an idea to start off in the empty shop, before someone else nicks the lease.

I came up with the idea of a Movie/games rental shop because the nearest and possibly only other one is St Albans is a Blockbusters which is well out of the way; parking is rubbish for it also.

I am totally aware of the current state of the shopfront rental shop scene with the fact that the online rental scene has really taken off in the past 2-3 years.
I was thinking of providing the shop for the local area and at the same time working on getting an online store together and providing both online/offline rentals.
I was also thinking of trying to bring the shop rental prices along the lines of the online sites where you can pay x amount to have unlimited rentals as well as a price for odd rentals here and there.

I was going to design a survey to send out to the local area to try and get some idea of peoples interests in this.

Does anyone think that this could be a good idea or do people believe that the shop scene is completly dead for this market?

Does anyone have any ideas for what that shop could provide?

Any ideas and opinions would be much appreciated



11-02-2006, 08:30 PM
Online and offline DVD rentals seems to be a very competitive business to be in. It seems to be dominated by a few very large businesses, with a huge choice of DVDs, so they seem to cater for niche markets too. It would also probably require quite heavy capital investment. I think I remember reading that each legal rental DVD costs 80.

I pay a monthly fee and have unlimited rentals, one DVD at a time from a web based company. This means around five DVDs per month, depending on the post.

A bricks and mortar shop like this, I think would require very long working hours to be successful. In the right location it may do well. Everyone likes convenience so good parking close by would be ideal. If I was opening something like this I would try to encourage up-selling. So if I rented out the DVD I would offer a large range of differently flavoured ice creams and chocolates etc... These would probably generate more profit than DVDs and would encourage more customers. So the DVDs would be a side line really.

As for other uses you could consider hairdressers, florist, bookies, newsagent etc...
All of the above depends on the location though.

11-02-2006, 08:37 PM
I'd agree that it could do very well - if it's sufficiently far away from the big names.

You'd need to do some serious market research first before commiting to a big outlay.

Good luck!

Mark :)

12-02-2006, 11:20 AM
Thanks for your comments
They certainly have got me thinking, i'm stuck now in the middle of whether its a good idea or not.

As for costs of DVD's, i was thinking of buying Ex rental copies of films from places like Blockbusters to help build up a back catalogue - these must still be legal to rent out??

I was also planning on selling all the usual type film foods like ice-cream, fizzy drinks, crisps, sweets, popcorn etc

13-02-2006, 05:20 PM
Does anyone else have any opinions?

13-02-2006, 05:51 PM
I think the idea has loads of potential. I do think that in the day of 'downloading' you may need to push the boat out on PR including promotions. Our local rental place is near a small Pizza Hut, so gets passing trade which is always good. The shop ALWAYS has the following too:

promotions-rent for 2 nights and get another film free (for the same period)

competitions-you win posters for answering movie trivia questions (they have the option of joining a mailing list)

the shops tied in with the pub quiz night and often gives away free rentals

they often run themed promotions too-at the moment is "heartache" so you can rent titanic, romeo and juliet and some other movie for a fiver for two nights. As far as I'm aware all the copies are out for Valentines.

They also sell loadsa sweets etc including imported American candy-goes down a treat

They have a very nice back catalogue too

They have various films from loadsa genres-Bollywood, artsy films etc etc etc.

Thats all I can think of right now-I'm sure you will think of other ideas too. If you live near a college you could always run promotions on a quiet night to get the students in.If theres a uni near you-contact the film club and get them onboard.

I personally won't join an online video/dvd rental place as items often go on walkies in the post...so the old fashioned approach is good for me.


13-02-2006, 07:04 PM
Hi, My grandad has owned a video store for around 20 years and I worked there for about 2 years when I was younger.

I have seen a lot of mistakes made and therefore can give advice on what I think could help you.

Business went down as soon as a blockbuster opened up near by. How far is the blockbuster from the empty shop?

There is a lot of money involved in buying the actual DVDs when they are new because when I was working there they were priced from 40 to 60 each. Buying older exrental DVDs from Blockbuster is a good idea and I think it is allowed.

My grandad use to hire out DVDs to other smaller stores in different areas. You may be able to do this with a larger store not near you so you dont have to buy DVDs.

Having a fixed price system could work but the only downside is that people may come to the store expecting a film but its not there because people have not returned it due to there not being a late fee charge.

I think store front movie games rental can still work if the area is big enough and people like your service.

I have a lot more tips and advice if you would like them. Contact me on Tahirfayyaz83@hotmail.com if you need any more help and Good Luck.


14-02-2006, 01:01 PM
Thanks for the ideas princess and the advice Tahir

The block busters is about 1.5 miles away and there are only about 5/6 pay and display parking spaces outside of it and these are usually full anyway.

The shop i'm looking at has no problem parking and i was thinking of the kind of senario where people could pop in the Indian and while they're waiting they could come into the shop and then pick up there food on the way out.

My biggest worry is the fact that store front shops are dying and i know this.

I think i need to finish off my questionaire and get it delivered in the local area and see what kind of response i get back.

14-02-2006, 02:13 PM
Originally posted by ehfctgs
Thanks for the ideas princess and the advice Tahir
My biggest worry is the fact that store front shops are dying and i know this.


I really don't think this should be such a concern for you. Although these online places seem successful there is still a huge market for a DVD rental shop. I would expect that only a low percentage of regular internet users use these places and there is still a huge number of people who won't buy anything online. There is also loads of people who don't use the interent at all.

I think this is probably even more applicable to your prospective market sector because DVD rental is very impulsive. Just like you say, there will be many weekends where people will decide to stay in for a curry and a DVD. It is unlikely they will plan this in advance unless they are avid DVD watchers.

You will of course need to set yourself apart from the rest by doing something a bit different if you can but mostly by providing the best customer service and exceeding their expectations where possible. Sounds like it could be fun!

All in all I agree with Mark and think with the correct research this could be very successful.

All the best!

Edit: Just realised that Blockbuster is only 1.5 miles away. You will definitely need to do some research on this in particular but I reckon you could take them on anyway! :D

14-02-2006, 06:10 PM
Hey John,

Let us know how the questionaire goes. The best bit of advice i could probably give is make sure you get sell ex-rental DVDs and Games because you do not want to be overstocked with DVDs people dont want to rent but make sure you keep the classics.

You say it is next to a indian takeaway. Are there many asian people in your area because my grandad does indian movies aswell and they do really well. A lot of non Hindi speaking people rent the indian DVDs because they all come with english subtitles now.

Finally my grandad is always getting rid of old movies some of which are good classics (He has tons of cheap videos aswell) If you interested let me know.


14-02-2006, 06:46 PM

Yes there is an asian area about 2 minutes away in a car.

I got the impression that your grandad's shop had closed because of Blockbusters; where abouts is it based.
Does he still do much business and does he think it's still worthwhile.



14-02-2006, 07:10 PM
Hi, his business is based in Tooting, South London. He owns 3 shops in that area. 1 English movie store, 1 Indian movie store and 1 Indian music store. The blockbuster opened around 10 years ago and is about a 1 minute walk away. People prefer to go there because they always have every movie. My granddads prices are really now as well at 2 movies for 3 pound. Blockbuster charge over 4 for just one movie but people still prefer to go there

Their buying power is amazing because they have around 50+ of the latest movies. From what I know that must be a cost of over 2000 per new title.

My granddad business does not to well at the moment because of so many things that he doing wrong. He does not advertise at all and does not have any steady employees. You need to have someone that knows about the movies.

I reckon a rental business can still work if the right things are done. I use to work when I was 16 from 11 to 11 everyday during my holiday periods so I learnt quite a bit. There is money to be made but I think you need a lot of money to start with and a lot of patience.

If there is an Asian community near by I reckon you should definitely look into stocking Indian movies because I know being an Asian myself that they would definitely rather rent from a shop then online.

My dad is a distributor for Indian movies so he could help you out with the latest movies and they are a lot cheaper to buy than English movies.

Hope my advice has been helpful to you.


15-02-2006, 02:24 PM

yes your posts have been helpful and if i move forward with it then i will bear in mind some things you've said.

I think if i don't go with the idea then it may come down to being priced out of the idea.
Originally i was guessing at about 100k start up but now i think it may take a bit more which i think i'll struggle to provide.
Considering as well that i know the way forward would be to get it online asap.

16-02-2006, 02:59 PM
I recently came across an advertising company that charged me 65 pound for a day plus travel to whatever location i wished them to advertise. what they did was take 200 of business cards and spend the whole day in my chosen location talking to customers about my business, deals and what I intend to offer. needless to say i had 50 new people joining my site. I think this was a god investment and i am planning to do it again soon. If anyone is interested in their contact details let me know. my adress is asentongo@ hotmail.com


18-02-2006, 02:27 PM

but i don't think thats relevent to this topic