As more people have been spending more time at home this year, one of the places they may have turned to get some entertainment is Waterloo’s Family Video.
That store, like all of the company’s Illinois locations, was closed for over two months in the early stages of the pandemic, but has since reopened with solid customer support.
“Waterloo has done very well since opening,” Family Video District Director Melissa Schuchardt said. “It’s that community bond that we have. Our customers are still coming in. They’re still finding something they want to rent, and our new release wall is as up-to-date as it can be.”
A Waterloo resident, Schuchardt started working for Family Video at its location here about five years ago as a part-time manager.
In that time, she has worked her way up the company and come to understand why the chain maintains its popularity in the age of streaming.
“People just come in and they want to walk the shelves and look for movies,” Schuchardt said. “They walk the aisles and they find movies that they forgot existed, and that’s awesome.”
“The biggest reason that we’re still around is our customer service,” Schuchardt added. “We treat everybody like a family when they come in. Waterloo is a great example.”
The business also owns its buildings, which means it can lease parts of the properties to other businesses.
“We have an entrepreneurial owner,” Schuchardt noted. “He looks for the things that are going to help us stay around.”
One such product has been cannabidiol or CBD, which Family Video began selling about two years ago.
Schuchardt said the company first learned of the product when one of its employees started using it for chronic pain he experienced after being run over by a tractor as a child.
Family Video only sells CBD from Oklahoma-based Natural Native because it is “all-natural,” according to Schuchardt. That means there is consistency not found in other CBD products.
“You can buy CBD at the gas stations, but you don’t know what you’re getting,” Schuchardt said. “One bottle may be great, but another one may stink.”
Schuchardt said the Waterloo store has been one of the businesses’ best-selling CBD stores, but that is not its biggest selling point.
Rather, it is the human element and the curation that provides.
“Customers are going to see a person who loves movies and can recommend movies to them, unlike streaming,” Schuchardt pledged. “Also, they’ll get a variety. We have so much more than Redbox and so much more than Netflix. We have movies, games, CBD and snacks to go with movies. I also think it’s just the nostalgia of the customer service and being able to find what you want.”
For more information on the Waterloo Family Video, visit it at 10 Plaza Drive or call 939-9588.