Nova Scotia

Video Difference closing in Halifax and Bedford after 34 years

A video rental business in Halifax and Bedford announced Tuesday it's wrapping up and will be liquidating its inventory later this month.

All inventory will be liquidated to public over 7 weeks, starting Aug. 20

Video Difference will be shutting its doors in Halifax, both the location on Quinpool Road, pictured, and on the Bedford Highway. (Google Maps)

Video Difference, a landmark Nova Scotia video rental business, is shutting its doors after 34 years.

"We would like to thank the community for its dedication to Video Difference throughout the years," the company said Tuesday on its Facebook page.

"It has been both entertaining as well as a pleasure to provide films for every age and interest."

Thank you and we'll miss you.- Tom Michael, owner of Video Difference

Video Difference has two locations in the Halifax region — one on Quinpool Road and a second on the Bedford Highway. Both will close this fall.

Tom Michael, the owner of Video Difference, said he and long-time staff have been discussing the possibility of closure for some time.

"It's not a surprise at all," he told CBC News on Tuesday. "We came to a mutual decision that when we couldn't move forward profitably that it was time to liquidate, and we're at that stage."

'Steady slide in sales'

Michael said they made the decision to close after a "steady slide in sales" as well as the changing habits of consumers.

Tom Michael says he'll look at leasing the Video Difference buildings. (Video Difference/Facebook)

"At some point you stop becoming who you are and you become a shadow of it, and we didn't want to," he said.

"We were known for our selection and our service, and we want to leave on a high note."

Michael has a message for customers: "Thank you and we'll miss you."

Employees like family

As for the buildings, Michael said he wants to try to sell or lease the properties "to the right person."

Paul Boisjoli, who has worked at Video Difference for 18 years, says the peak years were between 2005 and 2012, when the company had 24 staff at the two locations. Today, they're down to eight to 10 staff.

"It feels less like a job and more like a family," Boisjoli said.

Epic selection mourned online

People on social media were saddened by the announcement that their much-loved source of hard-to-find DVDs was going to be closing.

Boisjoli said Video Difference positioned itself where others in the industry were not. 

"There's a certain genre of film that you cannot get streaming or online no matter where you go. Everything from Citizen Kane, Casablanca. Heck even the first three Star Wars," he said.

"That was our mantra the whole time we've been open — where can we be that other stores are not?"

Continuing support of food bank

Movies and box sets are available for rental until Aug. 15.

Starting Aug. 20, all inventory will be liquidated to the public over a seven-week period.

Video Difference cash cards will be honoured on rentals as well as during the liquidation sale, the company said.

Michael said anyone who brings in eight non-perishable food items will get a $5 credit off their liquidation purchase, as Video Difference continues to support the Parker Street Food Bank.

Video Difference opened its doors in 1982 and currently has more than 80,000 titles in its inventory.

With files from the CBC's Preston Mulligan