When Smart Ideas Fail: Hollywood Video

It was all quite funny.

As a friend and I approached Hollywood Video he told me how they always say “Welcome to Hollywood!” as he walks in and how slightly annoying it is.

So we walk in and I listen with anticipation. One guy is on the phone and the girl is far enough away that there’s no one to greet us. We grab a video and as we go to check out the girl says “How are you?” or “Hi” or something to that effect.

“Aren’t you going to say Welcome to Hollywood?” I asked.

“The bell didn’t go off!” she said defensively. “We’re like Pavlav’s Dog. If the bell doesn’t go off when people walk in we don’t know to say it.”

Her eyes darted back and forth nervously. Finally I decided to give her a break. “We’re not mystery shoppers so don’t worry.”

I forget the rest but we got lots of mileage out of her reaction. He continued complaining that it’s annoying and I imparted some old fact that it is said greeting shoppers at the door reduces the incidence of shoplifting like “We know you’re here.” (OK I found a random site that says the same.)

Perhaps in the end this whole experience made it worthwhile for Hollywood to do this as here I sit blogging about them even though it might reduce their chance of hiring anyone that’s not a woofer.

April 15 Postcript: This location has closed.  Is this due to the nearby Blockbuster and their new (but incredibly confusing) program where you can rent online or in person? My friend joined Blockbuster and is thrilled that they ignore him upon entering.



  1. One wooman at the store says “welcome to hollywood” in such a cheerful way that it’s almost as if she is trying to convince you that you have actually just stepped foot on a hollywood soundstage. Some of the slackers only say “Welcome”. This company has made some questionable decisions in my opinion, not the least of which is the whole welcome thing.

    They also offer “playguard” which is a type of dvd/game insurance. You can pay 25 cents per disk so incase you decide to use yoru dvd to scrub a stain off of the bathtub you still don’t have to pay. That’s awful nice of them.
    For a while they even held up each disk up to be inspected by the customer, to see if it met the customer inspection for scrathces or defects.

    Vhs tapes never got scratches.


  2. Yea, but back in the day, when people were just getting into VHS (and Beta) there was no Blockbuster or Hollywood. If you wanted to rent a video, you went to small businesses. They all sold cassette insurance and they made quite a bit of money off of customers to whom VCR’s were brand new.


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