Jim and Dave Lozinski may be the last of their kind.
For two decades, the pair has owned and operated the on the corner of Lexington and Diffley Roads in Eagan. When their parent company went bankrupt in 2000, the Lozinskis didn't miss a beat; even as the company's fortune's fell, the two applied for and received a lifetime franchise license to keep their business open.
"As far as we know, we're the last ones world wide," Jim Lozinski said on Friday afternoon, as customers trickled in and out of his store.
Even though they put up a scrappy fight, the Lozinskis plan to shut their doors in early September. Innovations like Netflix, Redbox and online streaming have all but dismantled the traditional video rental store business. Total video rentals from stores fell 39 percent from $504 million to $309 million in the first quarter of 2012, according to a Digital Entertainment Group report cited in the New York Times.
The Lozinskis, whose lease for the 4,800-square-foot space came up this year, could see the writing on the wall.
"We decided the future wasn't too bright for the video store model," Jim Lozinski said.
Lozinski, a Bloomington resident and a self-professed movie aficionado, said the loyalty of his customers sustained the store, even as the video rental industry took its hits in recent years.
"There wasn't a single day that I dreaded coming here," Jim Lozinski said. "When you're in a community that long, people become friends as well as customers.
Lozinski said he and his brother plan to test the job market and pursue retail related positions. Video Rental was their first small business venture. The pair hasn't set a hard closing date yet, but they are currently selling the store's DVD, Blu-Ray and video game inventory.
"The last day is going to be a tough day, to lock that door for the last time," Lozinski said.