BEAUFORT STREET’S legendary Planet empire receded further this week, with the video rental section of the shop closing up.
Proprietor Haydn Robinson cites “technology” as a big factor.
The rentals part of the business has been running at a loss for 12 months but the recent arrival of internet-streamed movies via Netflix is “the straw that breaks the camel’s back”.
“I think with downloads people have lost the habit of renting movies. It’s been a slow death, if that’s the right word.”
The high cost of rent and staff also contributed.
This is Planet’s third downsize: it moved out of its iconic corner location to get more compact and cut costs, and was replaced by a chain burriro store. Then The Daily Planet restaurant (which started off so-so and ended up spectacularly good) closed last year.
The book shop remains open and seems to be still going strong.
Mr Robinson says customers are sorry to see the vids go but “the ones I feel sorry for are the older ones, who are never going to download anyway, who regularly came in and got a bunch of classics or whatever they wanted to watch”.
by DAVID BELL