It didn’t take long for word to get out that North Umpqua Video was closing.
Eric Winslow, owner/operator of the video store and the connected wine shop and post office outlet, posted information about the closing at 9 a.m. Monday on Facebook. The store opened an hour later and people were already showing up to buy some of the discounted movies, series — Game of Thrones was the first one to go — and wines.
“I made one Facebook post and the floodgates opened,” Winslow said. “We were packed in here from the second I opened until the second I closed.”
Winslow opened the video store in 2005 on Newton Creek Road, and made a couple of moves over the years before finally settling into the current location at 1370 NW Garden Valley Blvd., three years ago.
Over the years, other video stores, including Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, went out of business, and North Umpqua Video was the only such store in Roseburg. But eventually new technology and changing viewing habits caught up to North Umpqua Video too.
Business had been lagging, and the fallout from COVID-19 was “the last nail in the coffin,” Winslow said.
“I own a video store in 2020. It was inevitable,” he said.
Winslow is planning on closing the post office on May 15 and the video and wine shops at the end of the month. He started off the week with about 7,000 DVDs, and is selling sets of TV series for $10.
He had been dwindling down his wine inventory for a while and sold about 75% of what he had left on Monday. “I was not prepared for that,” he said.
Winslow, who has another job lined up, said he feels especially bad about closing the post office unit, which is the only one in Douglas County. While he is fairly certain another one will open, it will have to go through a bidding process and that means it could be early next year before the new post office unit is up and running.
“It’s going to be not very convenient for a lot of people for a while,” Winslow said.