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Movie rental store is closing down

A customer peruses the discounted titles at Aardvark Video in Macclenny, which is liquidating its inventory ahead of closing its doors later this month.After nearly three decades in business, Aardvark Video in Macclenny is calling it quits later this month. And it’s not because of Netflix, Redbox or other competitors.

Shirley Smallwood, who’s owned the business with her husband Zac since 1984, blames computers and other technology advancements.

She said today’s youth have become so accustomed to using the Internet to access movies and other videos, retailers like her cannot stay afloat. After losing the kids, their parents’ money soon follows.

“Plus people are just impatient,” Mrs. Smallwood said.

Even though Aardvark, located at US 90 and Lowder Street, receives copies of new releases 30 days ahead of Redbox and Netflix, the films can be seen “on-demand” through their cable provider even sooner for a few dollars more than the video store charges. They can also be illegally downloaded to computers for free.

Mrs. Smallwood said once customers factor in the convenience of not having to leave their living rooms, paying an extra dollar or two to watch a movie is an easy choice.

“The kids used to bring the parents in, and now they, the kids, are the parents and their kids are not into the video renting thing,” she said. “They want to play games on the computer and they’re so computer-oriented, they watch everything on the computer, not the TV.”

The store is discounting all its videos and games for liquidation and was preparing last week to start selling off fixtures like the display racks, too.

“We just can’t afford to stay in business,” said Mrs. Smallwood. “There’s not enough demand out there.”

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