That's Entertainment surviving DVD collapse
In That's Entertainment general manager Greg Switzer’s view, “the biggest problem with the other guys is they focused on one thing, and that was rentals only. (Julie Jocsak/QMI Agency Niagara)
For some companies, their niche is staying relevant and successful amid an industry upheaval.
That’s what happened to That’s Entertainment in St. Catharines, when the large-store DVD rental market collapsed several years ago.
The DVD bottoming-out felled Jumbo Video and Blockbuster, with That’s Entertainment and some other stores filling a local rental niche.
That’s Entertainment owner Vaso Manojlovich recalls that when it started in 1989, “we were told ‘enjoy your eight years of business.’”
Instead, the Lake St. store has rigorously diversified over its 24 years. Its offerings have included video games, CDs and a wide range of flavoured popcorn and snacks.
“Our niche is offering different services,” said Manojlovich. “We’re here to provide entertainment. That’s where we got our name. We knew video would change and evolve along the way.”
Over the years, bits have been added to their business model to inject more revenue. Among them, a separate entity under the same roof that offers payday loans and cheque cashing.
In general manager Greg Switzer’s view, “the biggest problem with the other guys is they focused on one thing, and that was rentals only.
“You have to everything, including new and used items for sale,” Switzer said. “Really, you make it a one-stop shop.”
The men say smart hiring is also important. They say their 20 to 25 employees are passionate and very knowledgeable about the products they sell.
“We’ve got a lot of kids who are really into movies, and they really enjoy it,” Switzer said.
“It sets us apart from a big, no-name store as you can really interact with someone, talk to them. You get recommendations and a feeling for what’s out there.”
Manojlovich said “giving out value” with coupons and assorted discounting is another key to success.
“We’re basically the discounter, or Costco, of video rentals,” he said. “We’ve been discounting since we opened, with our ‘rent one, get one (free).’ ”