Popcorn is so passe with independent video-rental stores. According to a story in the Hollywood Reporter, more than 3,500 independently owned stores, or 35% of total independent outlets, have added a tanning bed to keep customers returning–and to add profits.
The tanning beds apparently attract customers during those slow periods for video rentals, helping to provide the independently owned stores round out their revenue streams, the story says.
Steve Pickard in St. Cloud, Minn., who owns two stores in the town, said having tanning beds–he has 10 in one store and seven in another–is allowing him to keep renting videos. "I don’t think we could pay all our overhead with just video," he says. A good quality tanning bed can cost as much as $15,000, the story notes.
This story reminds TVWeek that in the early 1990s a popular place to rent videos on the upper West Side of New York City was a store that was a combination laundromat/video rental shop.