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Boondocks is the hero Licking deserves, is Redbox really the one itneeds?



By Katie Anderson

Managing Editor

What is red, square, and causing a controversy in the town of Licking? That would be the new Redbox that was installed at the local Dollar General. Unfortunately, this box may put a local video store in quite a tight spot.

There were rumors of the Redbox coming in that started about two weeks ago, and it was installed Aug. 15 across the street from Boondocks Entertainment. It has also been noted that the Dollar General gets very little revenue from the Redbox coming in, but wants to generate more foot traffic into the store.

Before the box was installed, the Dollar General customer service department was contacted and asked whose decision it was to put the box in. Michelle, a customer service rep., told The Licking News, “We can’t release that information to just anyone according to my manager, but the corporate office has the final say.”

When contacting the Redbox customer service department, I was put in touch with someone named Joy who said, “I will have to escalate this to our higher department,” when asked why they would put a Redbox in front of a hometown video store. I was soon disconnected from chat from its end and not forwarded to someone else.

There has also been information provided from numerous sources of how upset people are about the box coming in.

“It’s disappointing and sucks for the little guy,” said owner of Boondocks, Brandon Smith. “Definitely not the best timing. There’s not much we can do about it. We are going to do the best for the community and we hope people will still come out and support us.”

Photo by Katie Anderson
A poll was put onto Facebook, with the question, “Do you think Redbox is hurting small-town movie stores? Or do you think they are good for competition?” There were 79 percent that said it was hurting movie stores, and the other 21 percent said it was good competition for movie stores. Comments were also added, including one from Preston Johnson saying, “I think Redbox is dead along with movie stores thanks to Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Video Prime.”

Michael Hood said, “We have a wonderful video/comic book store in town. Boondocks. Can Netflix or Redbox give you feedback on movies, as well as stock the classics? We can all do wonderful things with the internet, but there is a lot to be said for the ‘personal touch.’ Thank you Brandon Smith.”

Edgar Springs Dollar General has been trying to get a Redbox for the past two years, but has been told time and time again that they weren’t getting any more in the Dollar General stores. Now, there has been one pop up in Roby and Licking.

“I still think people will want a more personal experience, opposed to a machine,” said Smith.

It has also been noted that if the box doesn’t get a lot of use, they will come back to take it out. For the ones that are upset about the Redbox, continue to use your local video store Boondocks, located at 119 W. Highway 32 in Licking.

Some Redbox Fast Facts from its website include that rentals are, “$1.75 a day for DVDs, $2 a day Blu-RayTM Discs and $3 a day for video games.” There’s no monthly subscription required and the company has about 41,500 kiosks and counting. There’s also a Redbox app where people can reserve online, and they are open 24 hours a day.

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