Tampa video store owner hopes to tap into niche market

Who doesn't look forward to kicking back on the couch after a long day of work and popping in a nice DVD or videotape?

A new business owner in Tampa is betting that the answer is still a lot of you, even though streaming media has taken up a larger share of home movies than ever before.

"I know it sounds crazy," said Shelby McIntyre, the owner of Viper Video, at 706 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

He opened the store three weeks ago, but he remembers back in 2005 when DVDs made up 64% of the home video market. Just three years later, in 2018, it was 10% and falling.

"The business is out there; the buyers are out there," he explained. "You just have to tap into that niche."

Which, he says, is made of people who love three things-the feel, the extras and the ability to say, "Look at how many I've got."

"It's always about the feeling," he shared. "It's funny, they always say, shopping is a feeling, right?"

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He charges $5 for three used DVDs, though newbies are more.

"The first two weeks were great. This week is a little slow because it is right after Black Friday," commented McIntyre. "After the first few days, I had already paid my rent."

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But there’s one more act of this story that could make this a movie itself. He can hardly see what he’s selling.

"It is quite ironic that a person that everything is blurry to is selling movies," he said.

For the last seven years, he has battled a condition that is making his corneas thinner.

"I miss being able to see the clarity," he shared. "I miss being able to read the subtitles."

He says help from family and friends is the only way he's been able to get this far.

"Everybody loves a great story," he added. "That's what movies are all about."

In a world, where he can't see them, he might as well sell them.


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