July 2, 2021
Family Video’s end is fast approaching.
The last national video rental chain, which in January announced it is closing down, is now liquidating an assortment of posters, memorabilia and other items on eBay.
The auction was supposed to end June 29, but 201 items remain up for bid or for sale on eBay as of July 2, including Family Video-logo director’s chairs (“Buy It Now” price $229.94, with a 15% quantity discount), a Family Video employee vest ($34.95), an autographed Stan Lee’s Mutants, Monsters & Marvels DVD (starting bid 99 cents, “Buy It Now” price $249.99), and dozens of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.
“Yes, it’s really us,” the chain says on its eBay “shop” page. “We are the former #1 movie rental retail chain in the United States. Sadly we closed our stores in January 2021, but we still offer movies, video games and more online.”
Family Video opened its first store — Video Movie Club — in Springfield, Ohio, in 1978. The privately-owned company ultimately grew to 800 stores, but in January announced it would begin liquidation of its remaining 250 stores, citing the pandemic as the reason.
“While we have faced digital competition from Netflix and others for years, nothing has been as devastating to our business as COVID-19,” Keith Hoogland, CEO of Highland Ventures, the Glenview, Ill.-based company that owns Family Video, said in a media statement. “We are very thankful to have been able to provide entertainment for many family movie nights.”
The chain posted a letter from Hoogland on its website shortly before noon PT on Jan. 6, stating that the impact of COVID-19 combined with the lack of fresh theatrical product “pushed us to the end of an era.”
In November 2020, the chain mounted a brief promotional campaign called #SaveTheVideoStore to drum up consumer support. The campaign was supported by studios and Hollywood talent such as Clerks director Kevin Smith.
Other items available on eBay include Family Video T-shirts ($17.95), “Hunger Games” necklaces ($1.99 or $4.99), and a September 2020 issue of the Family Video “new release” in-store magazine (99 cents).