Whangārei business United Video has survived wave after wave of competition from the likes of full-time streamed movie and box set packages, illegal downloading, online gaming and other digital entertainment.

The shop in Vine St is the last man standing when it comes to video rental stores in Whangārei after a spate of closures in recent years.

Video stores anywhere in New Zealand are a rarity these days, with one estimate being there are only around 50 in the whole country.

While Whangārei central's United Video is still open and busy, it's nowhere as busy as the glory days and has been forced to cut costs by downsizing the premises, owner Tania Couper said.


''We have new customers every day and many coming back from Netflix saying they don't have the choice of titles that we have. We have a vast library of many thousands of movies that you can't get anywhere else.

''Our intention is to stay open for the foreseeable future so have halved the size of the store to cut overheads, but still have kept the same amount of movies. It's more a boutique DVD store than the vast space we had.''

Not helping rentals' status as a home movie viewing or gaming option is the often repeated comment in mainstream and social media that ''video is dead''.

''We're still alive and well,'' Couper said.