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A Store’s Fall Blamed on Roku Not Rent - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


A Store’s Fall Blamed on Roku Not Rent


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I-V ElectronicsMeghan Keneally I-V Electronics Corporation, 108 First Avenue.

I-V Electronics Corporation at 108 First Avenue will close its doors for good this evening. And unlike some recently shuttered businesses, it doesn’t blame its demise on rising rents, bike lanes, or a difficult landlord.

“It’s not our landlord — we have the best landlord in all of New York,” said the store’s owner, Richard Serowik. “It’s Netflix, its ordering online that killed us in the competition.”

The store, which rents DVDs and repairs electronics, has been at its First Avenue location between Sixth and Seventh Streets for the past 16 years. Mr. Serowik, however, has been in the video business for longer, having run a store of the same name in Chelsea prior to coming to the East Village.

But his foray into our neighborhood coincides with the rise of video-on-demand services such as Netflix, which started about a decade and a half ago and streams videos into viewers homes through a device known as a Roku box.

As part of the store’s closing sale, all DVDs are $2.99 until they close at 10 p.m., and, at 5 this afternoon, there was easily more than a hundred still on the shelves. But Mr. Serowik isn’t too worried: anything that he doesn’t sell tonight, he’ll just sell online. If you can’t beat the competition, join ‘em.