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The end for film rental firm as its customers head online
IT HELD out longer than HMV stores and some of Oxford’s Blockbuster outlets, but an independent film rental company in Jericho shut up shop on Sunday.
Movies Video Rental, in Walton Street, sold its stock and closed its doors after more than 20 years of trading.
With people downloading and buying films online, co-owner Jenny Edwards said the business was sinking.
She said: “It is a shame. We are sorry to close, we didn’t want to. But the business is no longer viable – we just don’t have enough customers coming through the doors.
“I don’t know exactly what it was but we took a big hit last year at around the time of the Olympics and Jubilee celebrations.
“We have never recovered since then and we’re not sure why.”
Mrs Edwards and husband Leo have been running film rental companies for more than 30 years, first in Thame, then Kidlington, Abingdon and Cowley, before settling for more than 20 years in Jericho.
They have had thousands of members over the years.
Mrs Edwards added: “It is just an industry which is declining due to the fact that people can get things off the internet and through the post.
“We would like to thank our members for their loyalty and our customers – we are sorry to be closing.”
The shop had four staff, full-time and part-time, one who has already left.
Susanna Pressel, Labour city councillor for Jericho and Osney, said: “I was very surprised and disappointed when I saw it was closing down.
“I think it will be a loss to Jericho.
“As far as I know it was quite well used and I hope something similar will reopen.”
Earlier this year UK-wide firm Blockbuster went into administration, but a buyer was found in March.
Only two of Oxfordshire’s nine branches closed.
The Headington and Wantage stores shut up shop but stores in Bicester, Banbury, Witney, Thame, Wallingford, Didcot and Carterton kept trading.
HMV stores also went into administration in January because of the competition of internet trading.
But Oxfordshire’s shops in Banbury and Oxford were saved by a buy-out from restructuring firm Hilco.
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