Past pages, Jan. 10, 2011: Reno video stores battle competition from Netflix, Redbox

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week in 2021, we will feature three snippets of stories that published a decade ago to provide readers a 10-year perspective of business news in the region. This week’s stories first published in the Jan. 10, 2011, edition of the NNBW; the web versions are linked below.

The cover of the January 10, 2011, edition of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

Educated, experienced and unemployed

The ranks of the unemployed in Northern Nevada appear to include a larger-than-expected number of well-educated and experienced managers, many them aged 50 or older.

And that, in turn, may hint that younger workers who aren’t as deeply rooted in the community have been more likely to pull up stakes and head elsewhere in search of employment.

A survey of about 300 jobseekers conducted during December 2010 by found that 30 percent of the respondents hold a bachelor’s or an advanced degree.

By comparison, U.S. Census data shows that about 26 percent of the population of the Reno-Sparks region is college- educated.

— Page 1, by John Seelmeyer

Scrappy independent video stores battle against trend

Roy and Carol Williams have owned a video rental business for more than two decades, and in that time, they have dealt with a flood of competitors — most of which have since closed — the inception of Netflix and a storm of $1 movie Redbox rental kiosks.

Despite an always-challenging landscape, the Williamses and other video rental retailers have managed to hang on where others failed by offering low-priced rentals or by renting and selling niche movies, such as Spanish-language or pornographic videos.

The small 600-square-foot store on Lemmon Valley Drive is crammed floor-to ceiling with racks of movies, most of which Roy Williams owns. He keeps costs down by avoiding advertising — promotional materials include a few handcrafted signs pointing the way to 89 Cent Movietime Video for people driving north on Lemmon Drive.

Though the store’s revenues dipped as much as 50% during the depths of the recession, Williams says a number of low-cost promotions have spurred rentals in recent months.

— Page 1, by Rob Sabo

Carson City librarians helping city regain its economic mojo

Business owners and entrepreneurs in Carson City who need help with business plans, marketing data and management skills are turning in growing numbers to an unlikely source of assistance — the public library.

In an effort that’s believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, Carson City last autumn brought the offices of city departments that issue business permits together with a newly created library program that focuses on the needs of startup and growth businesses.

Library Director Sara Jones says staff doesn’t simply point users in the direction of online resources or published information. Instead, business owners and entrepreneurs make an appointment for an hour-long session, and follow-up appointments are common.

— Page 1, by John Seelmeyer


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