Offer a unique online service

Geoff and Cherry Howell, Lakeside

Thank you for your article on the imminent closure of VideoRite, Fish Hoek’s last video store.

I read this article with sadness and empathy. Sadness because it is a sign of the times: rising costs and modern technology have moved consumers away from the support of small specialist stores in the high streets of towns all over the world.

These stores were staffed by people who knew the needs of the community and interests of customers and have specialist knowledge and skills that cannot be duplicated by online companies.

For almost 40 years, our educational toy shop, Hi Ho Cherry O, has operated in the Constantia Valley. We closed our doors in 2018, after several years of competing with online purchasing and the rising costs of running an independent store.

We now operate from our home in Lakeside where we still offer a personal service to our old (and many new) clientele, who visit us in search of the specialist games and toys not available online.

My suggestion is that this video store consider this option. Many people do not “stream” or “download” or subscribe to Netflix/Showmax etc for different reasons, and you would be fulfilling the needs of a niche market. Start a Facebook site and keep in touch with existing clients on a WhatsApp/email group.

I sincerely empathise with your situation, but wish you all success in the decisions you must make.