Longstanding video store set to close its doors
AFTER 18 years of sharing blockbuster movies with the community and seeing customers turn into friends, Movie HQ owner Sunny Mahadevan is preparing to start a new chapter.
Mr Mahadevan is closing the doors to his Bowen business after seeing a drop in turnover during the coronavirus pandemic, but he remains upbeat about what the future holds.
He established the business in 2002 and earlier this year he told the Bowen Independent he believed his was one of the last remaining video stores in Central Queensland.
It was business as usual through February to April this year as coronavirus took hold, but sales then started to dip.
“The cinemas have closed, there’s limited content coming through,” Mr Mahadevan said.
“All the top 10, top 20 aren’t being produced on disk because they’re not being produced on the big screen.”
Mr Mahadevan said social distancing also had an impact, as some community members preferred to source items online rather than going into stores.
“Month on month it’s just been going backwards,” he said.
“Any business that closes, it closes because of changing trends or lack of business.
“We reduced our hours to bring costs down and we were able to work with the landlord to bring costs down.
“The turnover went down a lot more than that.”
Movie HQ was able to kick on longer than some other video stores around the country, as Mr Mahadevan has seen his friends and fellow franchisees close their doors over the past few years.
With streaming services making it easier for people to access content from home and people spending more time on social media, the writing was on the wall, he said.
“Social media plays a huge part in entertainment these days,” he said.
“It’s not like we sit down for an hour and a half and watch a movie, we spend that time on Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter, your entertainment is on your phone.
“That’s just the way that the world has gone.”
Mr Mahadevan will take cherished memories and achievements with him when he moves to the Sunshine Coast to be closer to family.
The store has previously been named in the top three Civic video store franchises in the state and the top 10 in the country.
“All that comes down to enjoying great trade and awesome support from the public,” Mr Mahadevan said.
“Once we opened it was full on, we enjoyed some fabulous trade.”
He said it was difficult to pinpoint one favourite memory from the past 18 years, but the people who walked through his door would have a lasting impact.
“You’ve got so many awesome customers and a lot of them are friends,” he said.
“You see the kids that have grown up and they’ve come in over the years as well.”
When Mr Mahadevan moves to the Sunshine Coast he is planning to start a new career in online counselling.
While a final closing date for the business is yet to be set, he said he would need to have the doors shut by the end of October.
He was grateful for the support the Bowen community had shown over the years.
“It’s been a really awesome experience, as far as thanking the community and our customers it goes without saying,” he said.
“It’s been a really good 18 years of friendship and business.”
A closing sale is running at Movie HQ, 21 Gregory St, Bowen, with DVDs from $2 and all games $5.