Last year, Rogers tried it its hand at unconventional business lines such as machine-to-machine (M2M) wireless connectivity, banking and home monitoring service. It also invested $5 million in Zoove, a mobile marketing solutions provider and forged significant partnerships with Microsoft and Counter Path.
Understandably, Rogers is under pressure to line up alternate revenue streams as its wireless growth has slowed down in the last few quarters owning to ‘intense competition’ from all wireless competitors – big and small.
While, on one hand, Rogers has been pumping in money into new businesses, it’s also planning to shed extra baggage to cut costs and streamline operations. To that effect, Rogers yesterday announced that it’s getting out of the video rental business as the market for DVDs continues to decline.
Last September, BlockBuster shut shop in Canada leaving Wind Mobile in a lurch. With Rogers shutting down its video store business, it marks the end of era and leaves Canada without a prominent national movie rental chain. Rogers disclosed that its video rental and retail business fell 43 per cent to $82 million in 2011. The company confirmed that its more than 90 remaining video stores stopped renting movies and games late last week and are now in liquidation mode.
“We wound up our rental business at the end of last week. We are now in the process of liquidating all of the videos and DVDs,” Leigh-Ann Popek, a spokeswoman for the company, told the Financial Post. “All of the locations will stay open but will be repurposed to showcase our wireless sales and service as well as our wireline offerings such as cable, home phone and Internet. The plan is we’re going to be opening at least 30 new stores in addition by the end of the year.”
Rogers says the video rental stores will be used to sell TV and wireless services. Sentiments aside, if you’re habitual of renting DVDs, now is a good time to change your habits and adapt to the modern age services such as Netflix, Rogers on Demand etc. Though certain players such as Quebecor (Le SuperClub Videotron and the Jumbo Video) operate in a number of provinces, the writing is on the wall for the Canadian video rental industry.
RIP Rogers Video. You will be missed dearly.