Tag Archive | blockbuster

NYT: The Last Video Rental Start-Up?

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(This post originally appeared on the New York Times)

As noted in Monday’s Dashboard summary of the week’s small-business news, Miguel Gomez introduced a very unlikely start-up late last year in Ardmore, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia. Ready? It’s a retail shop called Viva Video! The Last Picture Store. That’s right, it’s a video rental store. In this age of streaming videos and movie downloads, can an energetic entrepreneur breathe life into what most people assume is a dying business?

Q.

Why video rentals?

A.

I worked for 13 years at another local video store which closed this past October when their lease ran out. They weren’t interested in dealing with a move, so I set about trying to find a place that could make sense. The store still had a steady business and a very loyal clientele, so as long as I could find somewhere that kept our overhead costs low, I saw a possibility to continue the store.

Q.

Did you have much experience?

A.

My wife and I were managers of the store that closed, so aside from seeing the desire in the community to retain a video store, we were lucky enough to know the financials as well and to make our decision based on that information.

Q.

How are you going to compete against online services like Amazon, Hulu and Netflix?

A.

Online services do have plenty to offer, but the personal experience is impossible to match. Our store caters primarily to a very film-literate clientele — a group of people that don’t just want access to whatever is thrown their way. A brick-and-mortar location is still the best way to learn and browse smaller titles, whether they be quirky art house fare like “Moonrise Kingdom” or foreign films like “Le Havre” or “The Skin I Live In.”

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NYT: This Week in Small Business: 1,000 New Bankers

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(This post originally appeared on the New York Times)

The Big Story: Four More Years

At his inauguration, President Obama delivers a rallying cry for active government. Rick Newman says the president has given a gift to the stock market. This blogger believes that the speech made things a lot more certainfor small businesses. Here’s the whole speech in just three minutes. These are 22 of the most fabulous Beyoncé moments from the inauguration (and one that’s not-so-fabulous). The president’s daughters seemed to enjoy the day, too.

Finance: Bank of America Hires 1,000 Bankers

Investment professionals are anticipating an influx of income and growth-hungry mom-and-pop “retail” investors. Bank of America reached its goal of hiring 1,000 small-business bankers and extended nearly $8.7 billion in new credit to small businesses in 2012. Companies are keeping stockpiles of foreign cash in the United States. Erik Sherman says you should be wary of any Web site that claims to enable crowdfunded public offerings.

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