Bust­ing the odds

LAST STORE ON THE BLOCK

Stirling Times - - News - Tyler Brown

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.

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey

Block­buster Mor­ley owner Lyn Borrszeky.

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