A fond farewell to a dedicated businessman

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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That's Entertainment

Commentary

Editor: I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to Don Cairns and regrets at the closing of That’s Entertainment. I have known him for 18 years through his business and during this time, Don demonstrated a dedication not to ‘operate a video store,’ but rather create a true video library.     

As a new customer perusing the selections, Don approached me pleasantly and politely asked if I found what I was looking for. Having eclectic interests and faced with such a large selection, I was undecided and gladly accepted his offer for help. It became readily apparent how well Don knew his films and how he truly valued customer satisfaction. It was not long before my habit of seeking Don out for recommendations began and over the years, I have come to know him as personable, respectful and very thoughtful of others.   

I have always been impressed with Don’s business acumen, his thoroughness, attention to detail and his selections to expand the video collection. Having passed on the priority of customer satisfaction to his staff, they were always knowledgeable, pleasant, making certain that all videos were clean upon rental. Notices of upcoming releases were visible when entering the store.

A stack of the local free community paper was on the counter at the exit. Paper usage was reduced by only printing receipts upon request. Pre-paid rental cards guaranteed a discount. All receptacles for proper sorting were at the exit and even free dog biscuits were available for companion animals. Beyond the “conventional movies’’ and “hit series,” the store offered seasonal specials, independent films, documentaries, sub-titled foreign films, non-subtitled foreign film (French, Spanish and Italian), musical performances, stand-up comedy, classics, an extensive organized archive of films, politically controversial films, films specifically shown at the local alternative movie theatre, adult films and series produced in the United Kingdom.  

Don arranged the store for customer comfort. The video displays were very well organized, which promoted easy viewing. An enclosed ‘children’s nook’ complete with a small bench and crayons near to the checkout provided a safe spot for children. A separate room built within the store housed the video archives and provided a discreet room for adult videos. North American and United Kingdom box sets were separated and both were alphabetized.

Written staff recommendations, Rotten Tomatoes and IMBd ratings offered added helpful hints and two laptops were readily available for customer use. Fresh free popcorn was ready for in-store shopping. Bagged popcorn, a selection of conventional candies, drinks and alternative candies were also available for sale.

Don committed his business to also support the community. He regularly collected food for the food bank by offering free movie rentals with donations of five nonperishable goods. A donation to the local hospital was requested if the free popcorn was not for in-store shopping. Although space on the counter at the exit was limited, he ensured that community announcements, especially those of fund raising for community members in need were displayed.

I wish Don the very best. I will miss his great recommendations and the weekly rentals.    

Annie Wagener,

Charlottetown

Organizations: North American

Geographic location: United Kingdom, Charlottetown

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