Busting the odds
LAST STORE ON THE BLOCK
IT may come as a surprise to learn that WA’s last remaining Blockbuster video rental store still averages about 30 new members a week.
The Morley storeowners John and Lyn Borszeky put this down to being “the last man standing” in the area, with Blockbuster’s only other offering a rental kiosk at Mosman Park IGA.
The couple first started in the video rental industry in 1989 when they went into partnership with friends in a small shop in Greenwood.
From there, they owned stores in Innaloo, Mt Lawley, Yokine and Victoria Park.
They bought the existing Blockbuster in Morley almost 10 years ago because of its close location to their Mt Lawley one.
“It was a good fit to own both stores,” Mrs Borszeky said. “Business was good and we were able to build on Morley’s customer base and increase its revenue doing joint promotions with Mt Lawley.”
However, like other industries, home entertainment has been affected by technology, which can be seen by the number of stores closing.
“We knew change was coming but were a bit surprised how quickly it affected our customer base once Netflix hit the Australian market,” Mrs Borszeky said.
Though Morley still has “a large customer base of regular members”, particularly “from the middle to older age group”, Mrs Borszeky had noticed a drop in those aged 15 to 30.
“We believe the main reason for this is they are caught up with social media and YouTube and this takes up a lot of their time,” she said.
“We do find we still have a lot of families come in, especially over the school holidays when we have our ‘kids rent free’ promotion.”
Though many consider there is no future for the oncebeloved video rental store, the Borszekys are committed to trading “for as long as our customers support us and we can supply a service to them”.
“We get customers all the time pleading for us not to close as they still enjoy the experience and service that we provide,” Mrs Borszeky said.
Though Morley is WA’s only Blockbuster store following the Mandurah and Albany stores moving to trade independently as Mega Movies, Perth still has Video Ezy stores in Mindarie, Armadale and Spearwood, as well as 93 rental kiosks. Civic Video also has five WA stores, with one in Malaga, while Network Video is in Mt Hawthorn.
Blockbuster Morley owner Lyn Borrszeky.