Local video store closing as COVID-19 takes toll on businesses

Video Store closing

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll on Tucson businesses, and this one is nostalgic. Peoples Choice Video Express- one of the last video stores in Southern Arizona- is shutting down.

“Were a dying breed in the world,” said Francisco Landin, the Manager of Peoples Choice Video Express.

But the pandemic is shifting their business in an unfavorable way.

“COVID really took it out of us,” said Landin. “People got used to being home and they got used to doing the streaming services and they just stopped coming in after that.”

Landin says prior to the pandemic, their sales were up over the previous year. But, since the pandemic hit sales have dropped 50 percent. They say that drop in sales is forcing them to close their doors after nearly 30 years.

“I’m really disappointed we don’t have a place to go to the movies,” said Esperanza Arevalo, a People’s Choice Video Express customer. “So we would go here and rent movies.”

When you walk into Peoples Choice, it feels like you’ve stepped into a time machine and been taken back to the 90′s.

“We get a lot of people coming in bringing their kids and then being like ’look at this; this is what we used to do on a Friday night’,” said Landin.

Landin has worked at People Choice for 16 years.

“I love it here,” he said. “I always thought I would just buy it one day.”

He says the decision wasn’t easy, but he knows it was the right one.

“I’ve grown to accept it,” said Landin. “I think its time.”

He says their final day in business will be Oct. 31. They will continue to rent movies for the next couple of weeks.

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