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Pandemic kills off Family Video; chain to close remaining stores

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It's lights out at Family Video, the 42-year-old Midwestern chain that kept going even as Blockbuster and Hollywood Video went bust.

The company on Tuesday said its more than 250 stores nationwide will hold liquidation sales, offering deals on movies, video games, CBD products and store fixtures.

While streaming services and other online rivals have long dented its business and helped bring about the demise of other video chains, it was the coronavirus that proved to be the final undoing of Family Video. 

"The impact of Covid-19, not only in foot traffic but also in the lack of movie releases, pushed us to the end of an era," Keith Hoogland, CEO of Highland Ventures, the Glenview, Illinois-based company that owns Family Video, said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch.

Along with having to close its locations, like other nonessential retailers, for 60 days starting in March, the chain was also impacted by film production disruptions and release delays due to the pandemic. 

"While we have faced digital competition from Netflix and others for years, nothing has been as devastating to our business as Covid-19," the company said in a news release distributed to multiple media outlets.

Founded in 1978, the chain started in 2020 with 510 locations, but had to close roughly half by the end of the summer. 

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