Jul 26, 2014

A Weekend Curtain Call for Lexington Video

Barring "a miracle," Lexington's independent video store will be closing after this weekend, business owner Sue McDonald said Friday, April 6.

A Weekend Curtain Call for Lexington Video A Weekend Curtain Call for Lexington Video A Weekend Curtain Call for Lexington Video

Anyone thinking about picking up a new release better rent it real quick, because this weekend could be the curtain call for .

Business owner Sue McDonald announced her intentions to close the store after this weekend in an email to customers Friday morning, which explained revenues haven’t improved fast enough for her to keep up with the rent in her Bedford Street location.

McDonald said her landlord has been pressuring her to close the business and liquidate, but she wanted to remain open this one last weekend to say goodbye her customers and try to pick up a little last-minute revenue to pay her staff.

“I want to thiank all of you for your tremendous support this last year,” McDonald wrote in the letter. “I don’t regret giving it a try and only wish I had more time to see it through. The landlord was very patent with me and it is not fair for me to put this off any longer. … I am very sad that I have to do this since the business was just starting to see real improvement.”

News of the closing comes just shy of three months after with a weekend-long birthday bash held Jan. 20 through Jan. 22.

McDonald took over and . It’s a decision McDonald says she does not regret to this day.

“It was worth every minute of it,” McDonald said between customers on Friday. “It wasn’t about me. It was never about me. I never wanted to be rich, just break even and be here for people, to make them happy.”

Despite what she’s done to build up a customer base and expand the store’s selection, video rentals simply weren’t paying the rent, and McDonald has been unable to rally enough investors to keep Lexington Video open.

If “a miracle comes” and she’s able to buy some time, McDonald said she’d look to relocate and maybe tinker with the business plan a bit. “If it’s meant to be, something will come,” she said.

Inside the store on Lexington Video’s final Friday, customer after customer said they’d be sorry to see the store go. Children wondered about how they’d return the day’s rental as their parents talked about how they’d cancelled their Netflix account.

It’s hours like those that give McDonald the absolute belief there’s room for an independent video store in a world ruled by Redbox, Netflix and online streaming options.

“But you’d need to have the right capital and be willing to take a huge loss for the first few years; I just couldn’t do it anymore,” McDonald said. “This was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make.”

Barring a miracle, the next decision will be how to handle liquidation.

Starting Monday, McDonald will begin sending back inventory she’s leased for six months. Then she’ll liquidate the rest to begin paying back her landlord and investors. As of Friday, McDonald hadn’t figured out whether she’d sell the movies herself or deal with a liquidation firm.

But in the meantime, Lexington Video is open this weekend, and McDonald hopes to see her customers one last time. They’ll just have to drop their rentals through the slot on Monday.

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