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Updated: Rogers Closes Last of Video Rental Stores; Pushes Customers to PPV Instead

Phillip Dampier May 10, 2012 Canada, Consumer News, Rogers 2 Comments

Rogers Video closed for business, watch pay-per-view instead.

Rogers Communications closed the last of its remaining video stores nationwide this week, eliminating around 300 jobs.

The last of 93 stores still renting videos have been in “liquidation mode” since April, clearing rental DVDs and other videos, selling them to customers on an as-is basis.  This week, the last of that inventory was sold (or thrown out), and Canada has lost its last national video rental chain.

In 2011, Blockbuster Canada closed hundreds of its own stores, leaving some communities with no video rental retail outlets at all.

That suits Canada’s cable and phone companies just fine, as they bolster their own pay-per-view offerings, which typically come at higher rental prices.

The video rental business has done poorly in the United States as well, at least until Redbox arrived with its omnipresent video rental kiosks found outside of coffee shops, drugstores, grocers, and other retailers. Redbox charges discount rental rates from its automated vending machines, keeping the price much lower than pay-per-view offerings from cable and phone companies. That has kept earnings for traditional pay-per-view depressed in the United States.  Canadians are only now being introduced to video rental kiosks, starting in Ontario.

Rogers says it intends to keep its retail outlets open, but refocus them on selling the company’s wireless and cable television products.

[Updated: 5:24pm EDT -- A Rogers spokesperson has clarified its position on video rental stores, saying in part, "While we’re no longer offering DVD and game rentals at our retail locations we’re not closing any stores. We’re not laying off any employees at these stores. We’re repurposing all locations to better serve our customers. This will include offering wireless sales and service in all locations as well as cable sales and service in many of those locations."

The "300 jobs" statistic noted above was part of an earlier, unrelated layoff announcement. -- pd]

Currently there are 2 comments on this Article:

  1. Rogers_Chris says:

    Hi Phillip,

    I just wanted to share our point of view on the issues you raised in your post.

    Customer demand is changing, people want access to content any time, any place and on a variety of devices. We’re seeing more and more of our customers using AnyplaceTV, Rogers on Demand and NextBox.

    While we’re no longer offering DVD and game rentals at our retail locations we’re not closing any stores. We’re not laying off any employees at these stores. We’re repurposing all locations to better serve our customers. This will include offering wireless sales and service in all locations as well as cable sales and service in many of those locations.

    We’ll also be opening approximately 35 new retail locations this year. With about 1000 locations in Canada we remain committed to serving our customers across the country.

    @Rogers_Chris

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