Canada's last major video rental chain is ending distribution, as an outmoded service once offered at ubiquitous neighborhood outlets is replaced by online streaming and self-service kiosks.
Rogers spokeswoman Leigh-Ann Popek said the company was selling off its video stocks at its last 90 retailers nationwide.
"We wound up our rental business at the end of last week and we're now liquidating all of the videos and DVDs," she told AFP, adding: "Customers' needs are changing and so we're changing to try to meet those needs."
Rogers' announcement comes on the heels of rival Blockbuster Video's bankruptcy, and leaves only a handful of smaller regional chains and independent video rental stores dotting Canada.
Many neighborhoods will now be without a bricks-and-mortar video rental store.
Popek said the company's move was prompted by a sharp drop in video rental revenues last year, down 43 percent to Can$82 million (US$82 million), or to less than one percent of its total revenues.
Rogers' locations in Canada will be repurposed to showcase its more profitable mobile phone, cable, and Internet services, she said.
According to market research firm IHS, 2012 will mark the first year that legally downloaded or streamed movies and television shows will surpass the demand for the same content on discs and videotapes, which peaked in 1989.
Netflix and other online video service providers have made huge inroads in Canada over the past year, with one in 10 Canadians now a subscriber, but their selections remain relatively small.
DVD rental kiosks at grocery and corner stores are also becoming popular in North America, said IHS.
Source: AFP Global Edition