PASSION: Jo and John Wilton, owners of Network Video Winston Glades, say a smile and diversification is the key to survival in a digital age.
PASSION: Jo and John Wilton, owners of Network Video Winston Glades, say a smile and diversification is the key to survival in a digital age. David Nielsen

Ipswich video store beating the odds by staying open

WHILE ancient stores close around them Network Video at Winston Glades is continuing to sign up new members.

Store owners John and Jo Wilton refuse to accept the fate that Netflix, Amazon and other streaming giants have delivered to video stores.

Instead, the couple has diversified, given customers what they were asking for and had fun doing it.

It sounds like a simple business model, but it's a model that has served the pair well during their 30 years in the industry.

They started in the industry in 1989, owning several stores in Cairns and working between 9am and 11pm seven days each week.

Mr Wilton said a friendly smile and the ability to laugh kept them going.

"That's the thing we've always known in this industry, it's always been fun,” he said.

"We have a huge collection of memorabilia, toys, and bits and pieces that we sell.

"We're always doing things a little bit differently.”

People are still joining Network Video, proving the era of video stores is not quite over.

Last week the last Brisbane video store shut its doors, prompting sadness from the Wiltons.

In an industry increasingly outdated in this on-demand world, the optimism of Mr Wilton seems misplaced.

But he is adamant regional video stores, with hard work and knowledge, will remain open despite online growth.

He asked: "Could you browse 20,000 movies online? Not a chance.”

"We're optimistic, we think it will go up again and that could be because we're one of the few stores remaining in southeast Queensland.

"It's mainly because regional stores are more cost-effective to run.”

They are not attempting to beat the online streaming giants.

"Why wouldn't you have Netflix for $14 a month?” Mr Wilton questioned.

"People all the time say that's (video) on Netflix.

"We've got another 80 per cent more than that, that's not on Netflix.”



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