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Premiere Video maintains unique market niche

Video Operations Manager Brenda Ackerman puts DVD's back on the shelves of Premiere Video in West Fargo. Carrie Snyder/The Forum1 / 2
Premiere Video Store Manager Kerry Helland, right, rents a DVD to Benji Smith and his daughter, Lucia, at the Moorhead store. Carrie Snyder/The Forum2 / 2

Premiere Video continues to take pride in bringing the 'magic of movies' to the communities it serves.

Operating off a mission statement of providing high quality entertainment at reasonable prices, two Premiere Video stores are presently thriving and going strong at their convenient, prime locations - 1030 Main Ave., Moorhead and 1115 9th St. E., West Fargo.

The Moorhead store opened in August 1991, the West Fargo location in 1992, with the latter store having the distinction of being the only video store now operating in West Fargo.

The businesses specialize in video rental offerings covering the gamut of the latest in industry trends - new releases, DVD movies, Blu-Ray discs, Video games, general titles, lot of kid's movies, and much, much more.

Every Tuesday is new movie release day, with two kids movies offered free for any rental anytime, and new games are also released every week. The store also features a five-day return on rentals, except for new arrivals that are two day rentals that have a reward coupon for early returns, along with a reasonable late fee that is prorated for days of rental, so nobody is ever overcharged.

The Premiere Video brand is part of a chain of video stores and movie theatres owned and operated throughout the United Sates, by United Entertainment Corp., based in St. Cloud, Minn.

Brenda Ackerman serves as video operations manager for a total of 13 stores, and has been involved with the West Fargo and Moorhead locations since their inception.

Ackerman is proud of the way Premiere Video stores have managed to maintain their niche, saying services in this market continue to be well received, contrary to other locations where

technology has hit businesses hard due to the fast paced lives of customers who are looking for a quicker video fix and end up relying on the Internet.

Such is definitely not the case with local Premiere Video clients. "Our ability to exist and do well can be directly attributed to a steady stream of faithful West Fargo and Moorhead customers who still like to deal with the real thing by visiting the respective stores and personally shopping for their final selections," Ackerman said.

"We still have old school people who like to browse and pick out whatever they are looking for and actually check it out themselves," she said. "There's certainly something to be said for that. Consequently, our stores still have a lot of foot traffic and are doing well, and on that note, we intend to be here for a very long time to personally fill our customer's wants and needs."

A prime example of how busy it actually gets was the storm two weekends ago. Ackerman said traffic was huge. "We always see a lot of increase, especially when the weather is really bad. There's definitely something to be said for that."

In addition to the regular video viewing and game offerings, Ackerman says the store also features a variety of other products and services, including: a limited selection of VHS movies for VCR video viewing; a large selection of TV shows on DVD featured on cable channels (i.e. Showtime, HBO) that some subscribers wouldn't automatically be privy to viewing - like Dexter, Weeds, Sons of Anarchy, Nurse Jackie, Big Bang Theory, Cheers; the buying and selling of used games; the ability to special order movies or games not in stock for customer purchase; the opportunity to try out some accessories for game systems before acquiring elsewhere, guitar hero, and Wii motion plus; as well as a disc resurfacing special.

Here Ackerman pauses to give credit where credit is due, praising the staff on the great customer service they provide on an on-going basis, knowing and greeting many of their customers by name.

Travis Heise has been with the West Fargo location since 1999, and store manager for the last year-and-a-half. Moorhead Manager Kerry Helland has been with that store since 1994.

"Both are very knowledgeable and run great crews in West Fargo and Moorhead," Ackerman said. "Our customer service is excellent and we take great pride in the fact. That's our big goal; we want people to come back. Sometimes it gets really busy and crazy, but we try to do the best we possibly can and our customers really appreciate that."

Ackerman is also quick to admit that she truly enjoys her career calling. "Premiere Video stores are absolutely the most fun places to work. Employees are able to preview all the movies so they are really knowledgeable."

"You also have to like people and movies - so it goes without saying I really do enjoy what I do. It's kind of like being entertained all the time, so what's not to like?"

Hours at both Premiere Video stores are 9 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. Inquiries can be made by calling 233-5620 Moorhead, and 282-7075 West Fargo.

The newest releases along with other information is also available on their website at