Rochester DVD Hire will close its doors on Sunday.ELAINE COONEY January 14, 2014 4:23am
Rochester DVD Hire will close its doors on Sunday after 35 years as a movie rental business.
Owner Rob Ralph said he reached the decision to close following poor trade since the January 2011 flood but the final straw came just before to Christmas.
‘‘In the three days leading up to Christmas no one was in here,’’ he said.
‘‘I sat here for 30 hours for nothing.’’
‘‘Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve were always the best nights (for DVD rentals) but this year it (trade) was non-existent.’’
Mr Ralph said he woke up on Boxing Day and realised it was the first time he had a good night’s sleep since the downturn of his business in 2011.
He would spend sleepless nights trying to figure out ways to turn his business around but hit brick walls.
‘‘I don’t want to close. I love what I do but I can’t keep going backwards,’’ he said.
Mr Ralph said his annual electricity bill rose from $330 a quarter to $520 for the same period this year.
He said he did not use any more power this year and the electricity company could not explain the steep rise.
‘‘The high cost of living is crippling small businesses,’’ he said.
Mr Ralph said he was owed $100,000 in unpaid overdue fines for movies.
He said internet downloading, the aging population and the community not supporting local businesses also played role in the decline of his business.
‘‘It’s definitely illegal downloading that killed (the business),’’ he said.
‘‘This is an ageing population. When 70 per cent of people are over 50 and don’t watch (many) movies you only have 30 per cent of the population to rent a movie,’’ he said.
He said although people may have been watching their money after the flood, he believed many Rochester residents preferred to go to the cinema in Echuca rather than rent a movie.
‘‘People are building new houses with a cinema room and they don’t use it,’’ he said.
Mr Ralph started working at the store when he was 17 and bought it eight years ago to build up his retirement nest egg.
‘‘At the time I thought it was a good business,’’ he said.
‘‘As soon as the flood hit it disappeared overnight.’’
‘‘It’s sad but I can see more businesses in town will close soon.’’
He said since he announced the closure of his shop he had been busy.
‘‘I’ve taken more money in the last two weeks than I have in the last three months,’’ he said.
Mr Ralph said he did not have any immediate plans following the businesses closure on Sunday but was looking forward to a day off.
He said he only took 13 days off in eight years — and eight of those were Christmas Days.
KEVIN PROBERT DECIDES TO LEAVE AS THE CLUB LOOKS TO BOUNCE BACK WITH A WIN OVER WARRANDYTE
The Yarrawonga Pigeons scored a 20 point victory over the Myrtleford Saints at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
A VICTORIAN police officer has been charged with two counts of sexual assault.
FOUR Rochester residents did more than their bit for women’s cancers mid last month when they trekked 60km around Melbourne to raise funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Tongala Football Club lost to Rumbalara in the Murray Netball League on Saturday by 14 points.
Four generations of Comi girls this Mother's Day
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
DESPITE criticism from within the community over a perceived lack of use, the O’Keefe Rail Trail has enjoyed good traffic over the past couple of weeks, with more to come.
The usual yellow and black colours at Katamatite Recreation Reserve will be replaced this Mother’s Day as pink will be the colour of choice.
Jake has babies to thank for surviving cancer.
Fonterra suppliers are reeling after the announcement of a big cut in the milk price from $5.60/kg to $5 for the full current year.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.