The Family Video store on E. Carleton Road in Hillsdale will be closing its doors on Monday, Sept. 30. Everything at the store is being sold at liquidation prices until Sept. 29.
The parent company of Family Video, Highland Ventures Ltd., will continue to own the building but will lease the space out to Dollar General, according to Jason Yuhasz, the regional director of operations for Family Video.
Yuhasz added that Dollar General offered to lease the building for a long-term period.
“Dollar General leases several buildings from Family Video,” Yuhasz said. “It was a several-building deal.”
Yuhasz said Family Video employees “certainly had a suspicion” that Dollar General was interested in the building.
Tiffany Dunn, who has been the manager at Hillsdale’s Family Video for 2 1/2 years, said she and the other employees began hearing rumors three or four months ago.
“We kept asking corporate and they kept denying it,” Dunn said. “My boss was asking, and people at corporate would say everything is fine.”
The Collegian reached out to Family Video’s corporate offices, but they declined to comment.
A couple of weeks ago, Dollar General waived a contingency on that property and then proceeded to a rental agreement, according to Yuhasz. Family Video employees, however, found out about the agreement before Highland Ventures could make an official statement.
“A couple of Dollar General employees came in and talked to the Family Video staff,” Yuhasz said. “We like to keep these things under control.”
Annie Fairbanks, an employee at Family Video, said she and her coworkers were not told the store would be closing until Monday, Sept. 16.
“The regional manager denied we were selling and then dropped it on our district manager,” Fairbanks said. “We started selling the next day.”
Yuhasz said the video business did not decline in the Hillsdale area. Rather, Dollar General was interested in the space for strategic reasons.
“It was a real estate move,” Yuhasz said. “It had nothing to do with the performance of that store or the staff. Hillsdale has been a great community for us.”
Although the Family Video in Hillsdale is closing, Yuhasz said employees may have the option to transfer to other nearby locations such as Coldwater, Jackson, and Adrian.
Dunn added that all of the employees enjoyed working at Family Video.
“All of us will miss the people,” Dunn said. “And the kids that came down from the college; the football players and the baseball players — we would ask if they won their games. I think what we will miss most is all the customers.”