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HEARD ON THE BEAT

TECHNOLOGY : Mom-and-Pop Video Stores Persevere

February 21, 1996|Greg Johnson

Santa Ana-based Video Store Magazine reports that the home video industry is alive and well, despite a wave of consolidations that's occurring as big chains overwhelm smaller competitors.

Blockbuster Video, the Fort Lauderdale-based giant, is by far the nation's largest chain, with 3,350 locations and nearly $2.7 billion in yearly revenue from rentals and sales. West Coast Video--based, oddly enough, in Philadelphia--is a distant second with 508 stores. After that, the store totals fall off dramatically.

For example: the nation's 10th largest chain--Home Vision Entertainment, has just 53 units. And the bottom half of the magazine's Top 100 listing is dominated by chains with 10 or fewer locations.

Even though the bigger chains are forcing many small businesses out of business, new mom-and-pop operators continue to open their doors. "Fears that consolidation will ultimately lead to the extinction of independent retailers appear to be unfounded," said Video Store Magazine Editor in Chief Thomas K. Arnold.

Greg Johnson covers retail businesses and restaurants for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-5950 and at greg.johnson@latimes.com.

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