What's New at Logan Lake Books / Logan Lake Video

Update May 12, 2015: It’s been months since I up dated this, too easy to get busy with the other work and think this can wait. January to April is always a push to get the bookkeeping done for one year and catch up the current year. Then we had some staff leave, and new ones get hired. Training is always a challenge and there is much more to learn then anyone expects. I’d like to think that life is evening out, but there is always something needing to get done.

Pretty much every day I post on the face book pages for Logan Lake Video and Books and Merritt Movie Experts . Some days it’s easy, but there are days, that coming up with something is very hard. I’m still running the twitter feed. I keep up the new movies in and the top list every week. Sometimes I even get an extra post on there too. I try to keep everything we post positive and family safe (that’s not easy when you’re having a rough day). I think of it as a karma thing the more good things you put out there the more likely good with come back to you.

We have pushed hard to get more items available for sale on-line. Like the new Automotive section. Amazon account is now over 400 items. I’ve been checking our movie inventory against Amazon one title at a time, so it’s a very slow process. We are now over 1800 movie titles on line. That represents about 2300 previously viewed movies for sale, just in the Logan Lake store. I can remember when we thought 400 previously viewed movies was a lot. To be a “real” movie store now you need that big selection.

Spring has finally come and folks are now pushing for Summer. (Why can’t we be happy with what we have? That’s a whole other topic.) It’s warm enough I’ve started washing the rugs, I’d really rather be busy with customers. Must get back to all those things that are waiting to be done.

Update February 16, 2015: It’s been months since I up dated this. Here’s the short list of what I’ve been working on. In January I started face book page for Logan Lake Video and Books and took over Merritt Movie Experts page. I try to do one post a day for each. I’m still running the twitter feed too, but I only post a couple times a week. Amazon account is now over 300 items. I’m still trying to figure out how to make Amazon work. I’ve been checking our movie inventory against Amazon one title at a time. We are now over 2100 previously viewed movies for sale, just in this store.

Netflix is more hype than have. Just the Merritt store has more movie titles than Netflix Canada. Now with Shomi and Crave in the market, you can get tv shows on demand really cheap. In the race to lower prices movies get cut from these services, because they are a more expensive product. So movie lovers are getting less choice. VOD (pay per view) covers the biggest titles yet smaller titles and indie flicks are getting harder to find, unless you are lucky enough to still have a local video store.

On the weather front, while back east make the news for record breaking snow, we have mud. Last week it was +10C more that once right here in Logan Lake. Tom and I even talked about get the Miata back on the road, the roads are bare and the weather is great. Those of us who ski or snowmobile are hanging a lip that the snow pack is mostly gone. I don’t think winter is done with us yet. Likely have to shove a couple more times. Since spring doesn’t typically come until late May, I’m hoping for a little more winter so the mud season isn’t so long.

Update November 1, 2014: Wow this year is just flying by. I’ve been working like a crazy trying to keep up with all the little jobs that make this place work. We are selling movies on Amazon now, that’s been an interesting learning curve. I have about 150 items listed with them but I’m working on more. I’ve also been tweeting. Not sure that twitter will be any help to us but you have to try and reach everyone you can.

You still have time to special order for Christmas. But we are already starting to run into shipping limitations, and back order issues. Don’t wait any longer to check with us, we don’t want to have to tell you “I’m sorry it isn’t likely to arrive in time.”

I know I wrote about this in our policies, but not everyone reads that. With the changes to Alibris rating guidelines, some of our movies are “damaged” because they do not have the digital copies / codes included. It is very unlikely to find digital copies in our movies and this is why. 
When we process our movies for rent we pull all the digital copies and put them aside. The digital copies are then added to care packages for our troops. Most bases have internet, and this gives them a chance to legally watch a movie. It’s not much but it’s something we can do for them. We have been doing this for a few years and will continue to. 
Since most of our previously viewed movies for sale are well over a year old, any digital codes that may have been included, have expired and have no value to you as a buyer. But I think many of you will agree; our policy of adding the digital movie codes to care packages does have value. 

This is weird coming from a blog. People need to unplug and turn off. If your life revolves around the next tweet, like, text or post; then you may need to take a break. Some people are literally addicted to their smart phones, it controls their life. When was the last time you watched a sunset live, or just listened to the rain, or let a child tell you about their day? If you can’t remember, what were you doing instead that was so important? We all have busy lives, but we forget to stop enjoy the moments. Make sure what is really important to you comes first.

Update July 19, 2014: July has been busy. Yes, we didn’t do the Canada Day parade but after nine years we needed a break. Even if we had planned to go in we would have had to pull out because of the fire in Merritt on June 30th. The fire was a block over from our Merritt store and except for smoke getting in (it took a few days to air out) nothing bad happened. Still that first morning Tom had to be there to see what damage had been done. I hope that is the worst we have to deal with of fires this year.

We celebrated our 18th anniversary on July 13th. It was in the middle of a heat wave and some of you just weren’t braving going out, so you missed it. We still have balloons for the kids and the decorations up but the 2 for 1 day is over. Now that it’s cooling off drop in and see us.

Because the kids didn’t get report cards, we can’t do the You Pass You Score program this summer. Instead we have done 2 for 1 days (Rent one get one free and PV buy one get one of equal or lesser value free), that are for everyone. Keep an eye on the blog and the Love Logan Lake site (http://loveloganlake.com/events) for when the next one will be.

Summer of a 1000 Movies is still on. Help us meet our goal of selling 1000 movies between May 15 and Oct. 15. We crossed the 100 mark. With the sale movie inventory done, we’ve been filling up the shelves. We are flirting with 2000 movies in store for sale and every week more movies come in.

Update May 24, 2014: The play off slow down hit us just as hard this year even without the Canucks in. Sometime you just don’t feel like you can win. :-) We’ve been trying to catch up on the back ground work during this slow time, which includes inventory, cleaning and getting more movies out. 

By the end of the month we will have all the previously viewed movies for sale inventoried. We have found lots of mistakes and have been fixing as we find them. Some movies are just gone and some movies we have but are not listed. Lots of fun. We have started inventorying the rental sections. We have realized we are going to have to go through the books, which is a big job too. At least one of us will be doing inventory of some sort all summer.

We are still opening at 11:00am instead of 10:00am. Some of you have realized this and some haven’t. There are times being open at 10 would be better but there are days when we don’t get any customers until after lunch. It makes it hard to know what to do. Right now the only feed back I have to work with is dollars in the till. But I don’t know how many customers I miss by opening latter.

You may have already noticed we started our Summer of a 1000 Movies. Help us meet our goal of selling 1000 movies between May 15 and Oct. 15. We are already at 22 which let me color in two of the 10 count marks on our chart.

I heard a good comparison of why stores are better then on-line. Net flicks and digital on demand (AKA pay per view) are like satellite radio. You get choices but you only get what they want to give you, so it gets repetitive fast. At a video store you also get choices, but you are a person not a number. We order from all the studios, order the type of movies that rent best for us. So we get all the big titles and a number of the little ones. If you don’t find what you want, ask. We will try to get it for you. You might have to buy it, not rent it, but if you are really after that special movie why not buy it.

Update April 4, 2014: Well the snow is going quick, it’s muddy and/or dusty out there and there are hints of green. So it’s sort of spring but really mud season. This year we adjusted our hours for spring by opening at 11:00am. I know most of you won’t notice, and it’s not that big a change. Spring is our hard time, people are starting to get into their yards, there is play off hockey to watch and years ago spring isn’t when the big movies came to us. Well things are different, it doesn’t look like the Canucks will make the playoffs (for the first time in years!) and there has been a good push of big titles out. So it’s a good time to come in.

Something new! We realize that less then 10% of the movies coming out are advertized on tv. It leads to a perception that there are less movies and that “nothing new / good” is coming out. There are dozens of titles released every month. We have trailers and ads playing in the store but you don’t want to stand here while it goes through everything. We’ve set it up so you can rent the trailer discs. The trailer disc cost $1 a day but when you return it you get a coupon for $1 off any New Release Rental. This is part of our on going mission to help you find the movies you want.

Over Spring Break a number of grandkids came visiting. You should see the looks on their faces when they get told to pick a movie. It’s like the proverbial kid in a candy store without the calories. There are now a few city kids that have never been in a video store. Some are over whelmed and are afraid to touch the movies. Some have seen a lot of movies but we still have ones they haven’t seen. And some go a little nuts. Most can’t wait to come back and they want to come in everyday they’re here. It reaffirms to me that people have not stopped loving movies and that a video store is a good thing. 

We have only just started inventory, and we are going to poke at it this year. We have to do both rental and sales this year so it’s much bigger. I’ve set it up to do it in sections this year which means the customer won’t see much difference either in store or on-line.

Update February 10, 2014: Go Canada! Okay I did my Olympic bit. With the 12 hour time difference I know I won’t watch much of it and I’m not into sports enough to care much.

Valentines day is fast closing in and I know more than a few guys are going to blow it because they will be wrapped up in the Olympics. Here’s how to get out of trouble, make a date night. It doesn’t have to be expensive or over the top but you have to take the time to show the people you love that you really do love them. Snuggling up on the couch with a movie can be very romantic. The key is to make sure she feels special and you make a sincere effort to be romantic. 

We’re blowing out movies again and games and tv series and well all our previously view items. It’s chose 10 and pay for the 5 more expensive items. You can mix and match from all the previously viewed items. And we still have more to process and put out, so we will not run out of movies. We need to clear out as much as we can before we start on inventory.

I know the snow has been miss for that hit this winter but we are still working with the HVOA (Highland Valley Outdoor Association) selling Skiing and Snowshoeing Day Passes at the store. Yes, you can use interact for them. Yes, you can purchase them ahead or for someone else. Skiing Day Pass $10 Snow Shoeing Day Pass $4 Skiing Day Pass 10 Pack $75

Update November 16, 2013: God Christmas is less then 40 days away. I have to ask I’m I the only one who is not in the mood? I find the joy of Christmas has been sucked out the getting ready. I don’t hate Christmas. I like to be very organized, boarding on OCD, so the shopping is mostly done, by the end of the month all the cards will be mailed out, and every day off I have in December will be spoke for. I hate the pressure to make it perfect, and the hassle and the stress. I hate shopping for people you don’t see all year, and who don’t tell you what they want or even if they liked what you got them last year. Last year I did baking for all those “hard to get for” people, they loved the treats. I’ve done canning and have things lined up to do more baking this year. 

I know I’ve to get the store ready for Christmas. We are down to 4 regular shipments before Christmas, so those getting special orders done, is starting to get tight. We a trying to fill up the shelves before the next Previously Viewed Movie sale starts before the end of the month. It’s a nice day so I’ll try to get the boxes of Christmas decorations in so we can start cheering the place up over the next couple weeks.

Well enough with Christmas and let’s tell you about what’s going on in the store. With Warner Brothers, the store is doing: Rent 7 of these 10 titles and get a free movie. You get a stamp card that lets us know what you’ve seen. Don’t worry if you forget you card we can always look titles up on the computer and stamp them after. If you cash in you free rental before November 30 you will be entered into the first of draws for free rental coupons.

We are working with the HVOA (Highland Valley Outdoor Association) to sell Skiing and Snowshoeing Day Passes at the store, for this winter. Yes, you can use interact for them. Yes, you can purchase them ahead or for someone else. Skiing Day Pass $10 Snow Shoeing Day Pass $4 Skiing Day Pass 10 Pack $75 We also have the fee information for memberships and season passes at the store.

I’m looking forward to skiing as it’s my main exorcize and relaxation in the winter. Stress busting is a big deal. Multi-tasking to the point nothing gets your attention is bad. Taking a deep can be the best thing you do. I mentioned that Tom and I went to couple of hot springs in September. I now realize just how good that trip was, because just remembering it relaxes me. 

Since this will likely be the last up-date of the year, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Joyful New Year.

Update September 13, 2013: The months just fly by this year. I haven’t been making the time to update this like I wanted to. But then when you’re here day in and day out it doesn’t seem like it changes much. We sell movies and process more to replace them, so we still have about 1500 movies for sale. Every week new titles come in. 

New Releases arrive Tuesdays. Most movies are released to DVD and Blu-Ray on Tuesdays, it’s been this way for years. Now that many titles are not advertised on tv people forget this. Often on Wednesday afternoon new movies are sitting not rented, so it’s an easy time to pick them up if Wednesday is a night you can watch them. Don’t get lock into only renting on the weekend, when you can have more choice midweek.

Still haven’t hired a new person. We didn’t really get applications over the summer, which makes it harder. I know the application is big but it’s our way of being able to see if you will be able to do what we need you to do. I want to give a word of advice to those out there looking for work: like us, most places do reference checks. Making sure you have the right contact info, phone number and address is very important. The harder you make it for me to do my job, the less likely I will consider hiring you.

Tom and I did get a runaway this year. It was wonderful and relaxing, as we went to a couple of hot springs. It did mean tent camping, which I don’t like, but we had dry, hot weather which makes tenting easier. Sometimes you have to put up with the things you don’t like, to do the things you like.

Update April 23, 2013: For anyone who noticed the web site was down for most of last week. We worked out the technical difficulties, and should have any more problems that will shut us down. When I discovered that we were down on Friday, we scrabbled to find out what was wrong and who could fix it. It did mean we didn’t get back up until Monday afternoon, because things just take time. It was really surprising to me just how much I do that was affected by having the website go down. I am going to post this weeks and last weeks new movie, new to 7 day and top 10 lists, for those of you who like to check those out. 

It’s mud season out there, yuck. Mud season is that time between Spring and Winter, where it snows one day is can be 15 above the next. It doesn’t put folks in a good mood. Then April is always stressful, but we are getting a head of some of it. And it didn’t help that all the big titles are in the last half of the month. The sale’s inventory is finished and we’ve added about 100 movies back out on the racks, with more going out. I’ve filled up the 2 for 1 bin, in store. We started with a new on-line service, Alibris. We are hoping all the work we are doing on our database will pay off in more sales. 

Still haven’t hired a new person. I know I’m being picky but I really want the right person, and I’m not willing to give up on my wish list yet.

I have a bit of a back log to catch up on. So that’s all for this time.

Update March 9, 2013: I’m going to try to do this more often. There is so much I need to do that it’s easy to ignore this part of the blog. 

I think it’s a guy thing but I know it’s a Murphy’s Law thing. The more you have that needs to be done the more likely it is someone comes up with new ways to do stuff. I’m not against new ways, it’s the learning curve. I have to know exactly how it works to be able to teach it to someone else. And when you are still figuring out how it’s going to work, you have to do all the work yourself. We have several things that have been dumped in my lap on top of the normal bookkeeping, inventory and general keeping the store going. They are not all Tom’s fault, most of it is coming from people outside the store looking for ways to do things faster and cheaper (for them). The frustrating part is 90% of it the customers won’t notice the difference because 90% of it is back ground stuff, that if we do are jobs right you never see.

Speaking of jobs. I am looking for a new person again. We had 3 lined up to interview / hire and all three had other job offers that they took. It’s hard because I need someone who likes movies, is friendly and up beat, wants to learn. Really just about everyone who applied could be polite and rent you a movie, which is a start yet I need more. I need someone who (once trained) can keep the store moving forward when I take time off. This is a hard job, because there are a hundred little easy jobs that all have to be done right, to make the whole thing work each shift. Also this person has to be able and willing to do everything from mopping the floor to data entry. And they have to work well with the other staff. I know I have a big wish list.

The Interact machine is now acting up. So I will go take care of that. And just smile because it’s a “Murphy Day”. Oh P.S. the “monitor” lizard hasn’t come back but he wouldn’t fit on the new monitor now.

Update January 26, 2013: First post of the New Year (and in four months, yikes) I really haven’t had time to type up what’s new in the store. And the longer I put it off the more there is to tell you about. But I’m only going to touch on a few things this time.

I’ve been feeling sorry for myself today, I lost my “monitor lizard”. I’ve had a little bean bag lizard on top of the till computer for about seven years. Some time this week it disappeared. I looked in all the places it’s fallen off to before, but didn’t find it. I know it’s just a toy but it made me smile. 

Soon I’ll be training a new person. I’ve been putting it off so I can get some of my work done and I just so enjoy training. It can’t be put off any more as one of my guys has left. His other job started giving him more and he wanted time with his family. There is a point where your time has to have value and your family has to have value too. He will be missed but I support his choice.

The sale we ran over Polar Carnival was a huge success. We sold over 100 movies which give us the room to put out more movies. We still have 100’s to process so we can fill up the shelves again. We’re looking at running another winter blowout in February. Keep an eye on the blog as I will post it ahead of time.

Still keeping to our goal of 50 titles a month. Lots of times were are only bringing in one copy, so it you want it for a certain night reserve it. We still can’t bring in everything, and the Merritt store being larger has more so if you don’t see the title you want in store ask, sometimes I can get it from Merritt.

Update September 22, 2012: Well strange things happen. I have an all male crew. In an industry that is almost always women or girls behind the counter, all guys (and not trying for all guys) is really odd. I’ve had a few customers all excited, because they think they finally met my “husband”. I have to ask which one they think is my husband, because I’m only having one. It does make for some chuckles.

Going through the “joys” of training. Their not stupid there is just so much to learn, and remember, and build on. Then there is that men and women don’t communicate the same way, problem. And I was a little stressed out before this change over.

What new in the store. Until mid October all previously viewed movies regularly $7.95 are on sale 2 for $10. We are at over 1200 movie titles for sale and are starting to add more as people learn how. So we have some you would want. Our main supplier did a massive expansion, not that this affects us directly too much, but it shows that the video store is evolving and growing. We have added a secondary supplier which means we can have more copies of some titles and more small titles you won’t see advertised on TV. September has been growing pains of merging both suppliers into one order and dealing with new reps. October will be better.

Update August 8, 2012: I’ve been swamped which is not unusual. No holiday for me this summer, just when I thought I had things lined up to take time of this month, things went sideways. 

What’s new in the store. Well, we’re still here and are planning to stay put. That was up in the air for awhile. The new landlord is okay, and life is stabilizing again. Still getting a good batch of campers and summer people coming in, many of the returning ones are thrilled to see us still here. There is something about a small town friendly store that really appeals to the refugees from the city. We added Nestle ice cream to the store, not selling much yet but folks are still learning it’s here. Still have well over 1000 movies for sale. I’m more focused this month on getting the markdowns done and getting more books out.

Boycott Disney is still on going. Although Disney is still ignoring us, there has been some good news. First, there are over 100,000 signatures collected and it’s still rising daily. Second, most of the other major studios have already come forth to say they are not following Disney's lead. 

One of my “girls” left and the end of July and the other is leaving at the end of August. The one leaving at the end of August is returning to university which is great, the other had an opportunity for her husband and herself, she just couldn’t pass up. Sometimes life goes that way. I do have 2 guys working here, one is still training and the other is in school. So I’m looking for one more, maybe two people and I haven’t had hardly any applications back. If you know someone looking, tell them I’m looking to hire.

Update April 28, 2012: I read in the old post in May 2011 we were over 500 movie titles on the website, and we were so proud of that. By the end of May this year we will have pretty much doubled it with over 1000 titles. The part the gets to me is the piles of movie to process to put up for sale, are not getting smaller. Please make us your place to buy movies.

A lot of folks are under the impression that because the big chains are gone; the little stores will go too. This is not true, see Video Store RIP? NOT for details. As long as I have the support of my customers and can get the product, I plan to keep renting and selling movies. That being said it is a case of use it or loss it. We need our customers to think twice about buying at the big box stores. By shopping local you pay back to your community, not make some CEO in the US richer. 

Our being in the same place has been up in the air. The building we are in has a new owner. We knew this was coming but it did put extra stress on me. With new owners, you don’t know, are they going to raise the rent? Are they going to kick you out because they want to open their own shop? There were a lot of questions and a real concern as to if we would have to move or even close. We have met the new owners and it sounds good. Things might change as leases get into play but for now its business as usual.

I thought I would update some things I used to touch on. We still have a competition between the two stores, every stat holiday, on who can rent and / or sell more. I’m still getting my butt handed to me. Even with a 2 to 1 handicap I’m not making close to what they do. I haven’t written about Merritt because I haven’t been down to the store, to work, in months. It’s gotten to the point I don’t even know the current staff. For being sister stores they are night and day in so many ways. I’ve pulled a few of shifts with Tom over the years; normally I spend half my time putting away and telling people about movies. I can but don’t run the till, so Tom does all of that and of course I make more work for him. The rest of the time I prep bookkeeping or do jobs that are easier with two on. Part of me wants to get in there once a month to know what’s going on. Realistically I work too many hours here, so when I have a day off I don’t want to go work in Merritt.

Update March 31, 2012: I tried to do this earlier and I want to update every month but Murphy’s Law keeps popping up. The keyboard died on March 24 and had to find a replacement. A week later I’m on my third keyboard. The "new" one feels weird but it works. We have old computers and only so may USB ports. Having 5 items to plug into 4 ports doesn’t work, so I had to find a keyboard that has a round plug. With that worked out I can get this typed up.

GAMES are for sale. Most of our games are rent or buy. And there is a bin of sale games on the counter. Not sure we will add them to the website so best to come in at check them out.

Movies, movies, movies! We are so close to have 1000 movie titles on the website and we have over 1000 movie titles for sale in the store (Movies priced under $5 don't get posted to the web site). We NEED to sell movies because there are still hundreds of movies to process and get out. That’s why we’re running a BOGO (buy 1 get 1 half off). 

Inventory is almost done, but I still feel like I'm under a tonne of work. We know there are changes coming in the next month yet nothing is confirmed. Once we have answers we can make choices. Stay tuned for updates.

Update February 11, 2012:  Happy Valentine’s Day if you and your sweetie are doing dinner and a movie you know where to get your “and a movie”. Wow it doesn’t seem like that long since I last wrote. Christmas always flies by. Then January came and went. I know I have a tonne of computer work to do, and we all just have more work to do than hours in the day. It’s just time slips away so fast.

Well what’s new, I guess the biggest thing is we have taken our movies out of the store in Ashcroft. The store owner wanted to try something different, so we pulled our stuff out. This means there are boxes and boxes of movies to polish, price and get out for sale. With all the movies out of Ashcroft hitting the shelves, in the next few weeks, you have a huge selection of sale movies to choose from. 

We are in inventory mode again. I know some people don’t understand why we do inventory. Most of it is to confirm we have, what we say we have, and catch and fix mistakes. No one is so perfect they don’t make mistakes and boy do we catch mistakes. Better for us to catch mistakes then to make someone angry because it turns out we don’t have the movie they want. So it may seem like we are not getting a lot out right now but honest, we’re just running trying to get it all done.

New on the site: is we switched to Canadian dollars. For years websites all functioned in US dollars but now it can be almost any currency. So this is just one of the many changes we’re making in the back ground to make using the site easier.

Must get back to work I have movies to polish and to price, and of course lists to deal with. And I’m still hoping for more snow, (I want to ski) so guess who will be shoveling out again.

Update November 15, 2011:  Only 40 days to Christmas. I’m doing my best to get ready on multiple fronts, but Merry Christmas to you now, just in case. The pre Christmas rush always takes it out of us. There are cards, presents, decorating and so much to do. Renting movies is a great way to keep the kids (husbands?) out of your way when you are trying to wrap. 

We are running a BOGO (buy one get one half off) all month on all Previously Viewed Movies. Working the sales you can easily get a couple of movies for under $10, making movies a great stocking stuffer. With the movies out of Ashcroft hitting the shelves, you have a huge selection to choose from. This will put us over 1000 movies for sale (I have a hard time wrapping my mind around that).

Free Film Friday Fundraiser is the Grades 5/6/7 end of year trip to Eagle Bay Nov. 18th. If the kids don’t raise the money then they can’t go. The Food Bank has taken Dec 16th the food donations are wonderful but they need money to keep them going too. Don’t know what Free Film Friday Fundraiser is about, there is more info on the blog or come in and talk to us.

Well the outside of the door got painted before the snow showed up it’s white, very white. Planning to fix and paint the inside of the door next spring / summer when the weather is warm enough to leave doors open. Chalked all the gaps I could find and cleaned the furnace before I fired it up. Have to put up new Christmas lights and keep working on the fixes inside. I’ve been asked why I post the maintenance, money is tight so we can’t afford to do big showy things like changing out all the shelves yet all the little fixes let you know we are planning to be here long term. Besides I’m proud of what we do to make the store nice.

Must get back to work I have movies to polish and at least three more flats to price. And the forecast for snow so guess who will be shoveling out again (at least the “new” fellow will have to do it tonight; he takes he turn at things in stride).

Update October 8, 2011:  Here it is October, so Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Summer went poof again and this month is going to be havoc trying to get everything done before the snow comes. Still have to do some repairs to the store including painting the back door. I always think I’m going to have tons of time to do everything, so I take on way more then its possible to do.

We’re going though the stress of training a new staff member. One of my girls moved out of town this month (I hope it’s good for her, or at least makes her happier). I have a new guy who is learning as fast as he can. It’s been years since we had a young man work here but I really think he will fit in well, he’s sense of humour does. 

We have a couple hundred extra movies to process for sale. The place we were selling movies in Ashcroft is closing, so the movies that were ear marked for them are going for sale here. We already have over 150 movies in the 2 for 1 bin, but you have to come into the store to find out what in the bin. We also have over a 100 movie priced under $5. These are not available on line, only in the store. (What’s available in the under $5 bin changes almost daily.)

Free Film Friday Fundraiser is starting to get understood and hopefully with the Grads this month (Oct 21st) will really take off. November is for the Grades 5/6/7 end of year trip. And I know they are already starting to let people know about it.

Get you Christmas orders in as soon as possible to get that someone special, that something special. Also shop the sales bins for cheap stocking stuffers.

Update August 4, 2011:  I feel like I’ve been on a treadmill: running like crazy but not getting ahead. What to tell you about first. We got 1st this year in the Canada day parade for commercial. I know it’s only a small town parade but it’s our small town. Then we celebrated our 15th anniversary on July 13th. I wrote a bit about that on the blog. I am looking for pictures from the paraded so I can post them. I’m trying to do more with the blog and I do up date the basics at least 2 a week. Sometimes I wonder if anyone cares, but then I’m not playing reality star and pouring out my “life story” either.

What’s new in the store. The clothing is gone and we created a three row blu-ray section. It’s nice to have a proper blu-ray section. Yet it’s surprising we aren’t renting more. I find from talking to my regulars people are reluctant to spend money on up grading to a new system when they are happy with what they have. I have noticed that the more things change the more important being consistent and giving good customer service is.

Once again we are in summer movie clear out. We are always trying to sell movies. But in the summer we take advantage of the longer shifts to markdown movies from one sales section to another. The under $5 discount bin which normally gets topped up once a month is getting added to every week. I just hope more people come in to check out what we have.

I’m hoping to get a holiday this month. But on a day I thought I was caught up. I just go handed two jobs that need to be do as of yesterday. It’s that just the way.

Update May 18, 2011: What a rough spring. For us spring is the hardest time of year, there is tonnes of work, the expenses are still high and we don’t have as many people coming into rent movies. Like all other Canadians, April is tax time which puts extra computer work on me. In April I tend to pass off all the duties I can on the other two. This is good and bad, I get to find out just how much they can do, which is a lot. Unfortunately, I also find a lot of mistakes when I get back to everything in May.

Now we are pushing to get as much ready for the tourist season as we can. This means entering in more movies and books. They are just leaning how to edit and enter books, what I haven’t told them is there are 100’s of books to do. I’m trying to fill up the shelves. We currently have more than 500 DVD and blu-ray titles available, and there is still more to be processed. That is more then we have room to put out! So we now have more available on the web site then out in the racks in store. As we sell stuff off we will put out more.

I’ve been fixing / updating the web site; I’m improving the inventory mapping, (things changed since 2002 when we started) and the blog up and running. Still haven’t figured out the fancy stuff. On the blog, I am posting top 10 rentals, new releases, new to 7 day every week. I’m starting to put in and update the specials. I’m not the fastest typist so I’m only doing a little bit at a time.

In the store we are about to rearrange again. By the end of the month the clothing will be gone. With it out, we can once again expand the blu-ray and our previously viewed sales racks. This should lead to more rentals and sales.

Update March 2, 2011: My God it’s March already. I would be in a blind panic if I thought about all the things I should be doing / have done. Well what’s going on in the store, instead of running a series of in store sales on previously viewed movies we decided to have a new under $5 bin and price point. The bin is already full and I have more to add to it. The new prices are starting to show up on the website. There are dozens of movies to go up for sale, and as we finish each part of the inventory I come behind and pull movies to go for sale. There is a lot of work in getting things ready for sale, we remove extra stickers, polish the disc, and enter it into a program, so it can be uploaded to the website. And there normally is a pile waiting for each step to be done. 

We are about a third of the way through inventory, with a goal of being done by the 18th of March. That’s when spring break starts, which we are hoping will be busy for us. 

One of the other new features that came out in Feb. is a blog that I can write from the website. I have never blogged before but I am trying to do this, I have no idea if it’s really getting out to the big bad world. I’m not sure I will use it to replace the “monthly” what’s new posts. We will have to see what life brings.

Update February 19, 2011: Well time flies when you’re having fun (or at least working your butt off). My girls are running around doing inventory. I’m chained to the desk with bookkeeping yet I have to believe I will get it done.

Yes girls, we hired a new one. She’s catching on to the basics fast. And now with three people we are getting some of the things we wanted to get done, truly done. We expanded the Blu-Ray section from 2 units to 5 units, making it easier to find what you want. We have rearranged and started getting better signage for the books. More movies are going up for sale, and some are selling. We still have 100’s more to process and I’m hoping to start entering more books in March or April. There are some new features to the website too, if you find a book / movie you like, you can face book or tweet about it from the site. I have to learn about some of the other new features before I start them.

They say you eat an elephant one bite at a time. Getting this store back into shape is the same type of mammoth project. But we keep doing a bit each day. 

Update January 2, 2011: Happy New Year. Some years are easy years and some aren’t; 2010 wasn’t, I’m hoping 2011 will be better. My resolution is to improve our website so you want to check it out more often.

On that note we have been working on getting movies ready for sale. We now have over 400 DVD titles for sale and are adding more weekly (this sounds like a lot until I ran the numbers and found out we have about 700 more movies than we have room for). If it was release in the last 2 to 3 years we likely have it up for sale. In store you can take advantage of our buy one get one free bin. 

If you haven’t been in for awhile you should check out the store. We got rid of the hardware, toys, crafts and fishing areas of the general store and are trying Circa shirts, hoodies and jeans. Started this in mid Nov. and are giving it a few months to see how it goes. Over the next month we will be rearranging the store a little more. We think we found a way to make more room for Blu-rays and more room for books all using the existing shelves.

I’ve not been to the Merritt Store in the last few months. I know they are rearranging too but have no idea how far they have got. On the different holidays we have a friendly competition of who can rent the most, and Merritt has been kicking our butts even with the handicap we get for being smaller.

Update November 3, 2010: I’ve been meaning to get to this for weeks. Once again we are short staffed, one of the girls hired this summer, got accepted to a post secondary school from a waiting list. Short notice was an understatement but she made it. I’ve lost so many staff in the past year to going to school, I’m thrilled for them, but it’s hard to replace them. Looking for a student employee, want more information come see me in the store.

What else is new… well we cross the 4500 mark and then we sell a bunch of movies or books and it’s been going back and forth like that for over a month. I’m not sure why some items have photos and some don’t but I’m putting that on the back burner to focus on the store more. The store is going to go though some interesting changes the next few months. I have no idea what all we are going to be doing. We are open to suggestions and are trying different things. One suggestion was to add trivia bits to the web site. So we’ll try it, and we are looking for feed back.

Merritt is also going though growing pains. They have a number of new staff and are still in the process of expanding the movies. I’m beginning to think it will be an on going process.

Update August 14, 2010: Life has sure changed in the last couple of months. The two girls that had work here for years, both left (They are both going to university in the fall and had opportunities that came up for the summer, that they couldn’t pass up. Best of luck to both of them) This means I’ve been training new staff, we will end up with a good team but it has been very stressful. So we haven’t passed the 4500 mark as I had hoped to but they are learning how to enter movies for the website. It won't be long before the numbers start going up. 

By demand Merritt has had to expand the movie rental and sale section. This means the part that is books has been put on the back burner again. This is not a bad thing, because if the store can grow to where it will support more staff then the bookstore with get the attention it needs to get it on line. We are just doing the best we can to serve our customers.

We welcome feed back at our e-mail address [email protected] or on our blog.