Store Showcase – Video Concepts

In 1981 electronics were becoming more affordable and therefore the home entertainment industry was just beginning to grow. Compact video cameras, home computers, video games and video cassette recorders could now be on everyone’s Christmas list. But where to buy them? At the mall of course. In the early 80’s there were roughly 120 Video Concepts stores located nationwide, with only one of those stores not located in a shopping mall.

Video Concepts Storefront
Video Concepts, Ridgmar Mall – Image from”Stores of the Year 6″ – 1991

Stepping into this Video Concepts store, located at Ridgmar Mall in Fort Worth Texas, must have felt like stepping into the future, with various sizes of TV’s covering the walls, all playing a current release on video cassette.

Video Concepts Store Layout – Ridgmar Mall

The store layout was very much what we would we would get used to seeing in other consumer electronic stores. Tile mixed with carpeting to create different department areas throughout the store. Uncluttered walls that showcased the merchandise, and simple displays which made it easy to tear down and set up as new products were constantly being rolled out. However the black tiled ceiling and red neon lighting in this particular store makes me want to redo my basement.

Video Concepts Store Layout
Video Concepts, Ridgmar Mall – Image from”Stores of the Year 6″ – 1991

I personally do not remember buying a video cassette in the early 80’s as I was too young to be buying anything home entertainment, but I have come to find out that a recent release on video cassette could run you upwards of $90. Good thing you could rent movies at Video Concepts. Of course you had to buy your membership first, but after that each rental could be as low as $2 for a 24 hour period. What a great deal! But the rentals didn’t stop there. You could also rent VCR’s, even big screen TV’s.

Video Concepts Store Advertisement 1981
Video Concepts Advertisement – 1981

In addition to TV’s, VCR’s and camcorders, Video Concepts also carried audio separates, rack systems, computers, tapes and an array of accessories, all from the finest names in electronics. Panasonic, Sony, RCA and JVC. Or you could even step it up to Pioneer, Technics, Hitachi and more.

Video Concepts Sales Area
Video Concepts, Ridgmar Mall – Image from”Stores of the Year 6″ – 1991

“Ten years from now, we’re going to have home entertainment centers – a complete system with wide-screen TV, cassette recorder, disc player, even a computer.” Richard L. Soria, Manager, Video Concepts’ Inland Center store (The San Bernardino County Sun, 1981)


9 Replies to “Store Showcase – Video Concepts”

  1. I remember Video Concepts.It was inside our local Mall.There was a large TV on the outside of the Video Concepts Unit and it was dark inside with lots of TV’s on.And the VCRs looked huge and those VCRs I could tell then they were so heavy and seeing those today look like old antiques.
    On a huge wall at that store I can still remember seeing new vhs & Beta tapes like Friday the 13th Part 3 for 59.95,Splash for 79.95 & I saved my money & bought Footloose their for 39.95.The Store I remember carrying Atari 2600 games since that’s what I had then.I loved walking through that store & dreamed about owning it.

  2. I remember the Star Trek movie being displayed on a 3 color projection tv at the Countryside Mall Video Concepts in Clearwater Florida. It was probably 1982ish. We were too young to buy anything at the time, but the sales staff were polite and let us type programs into the computers they had on display. Good times.

  3. I was hired at the Northwest Plaza store in St. Louis, Mo., October of 1980. I loved consumer electronics products and technologies like Pioneer’s VP-1000 laser disc player, Sony’s KP-7220 two piece projection screen, where we played Mattel Intellivision, a host of video cameras with Vidicron, and Saticon tubes. It was a great ride for me as I moved to Chicago and then the corporate office in Denver.

  4. My father was the manager of the store in Woodbridge Center Mall in New Jersey. I remember hanging out there on weekends and helping him install projection TVs at customers’ homes. VCRs were $3,000 and prerecorded VHS movies were $100. Only the wealthy could afford them.

  5. I worked at the videoconcepts in Birmingham al between 1987 to 1993 it was best time in my life. I only wish I could get with my fellow employees.

  6. We had a Video Concepts in the mall my Family helped to open in 1981. The Citadel Mall in West Ashley (NorthCharleston) South Carolina was the biggest in the region at the time. It was spectacular to go to…..we saw Return of the Jedi at the theater (out parcel) there, it was a General Cinema, later an AMC. Loved that mall. Not my mall anymore.

  7. I helped design their corporate offices in Colorado in the early 1989s. My favorite part was we had very close up photos taken of parts of disc readers, etc, blew them up to 4 ft x 4 ft, tweeked the colors and used them as wall art.

  8. I worked in Video Concepts in the Late 80s until it closed down maybe 1991. I have for the most park have fond memories of working there. I remember the Holiday Sales and many many promotions. I remember selling the Karioke machines… we actually had to pull up the microphone and sing at times. There was the Lazar disc players, the Big Screen TVs, phones, boom boxes, Camcorders, Computers, TVs, Furniture, Speakers etc.
    One thing I remember was gradually leaving the Junior College Student life to transition the full time work life. It was interesting that during the time there selling home electronics.
    I relearned to speak Spanish from selling to the Hispanic community. I worked in the Long Beach, California Store and the Lakewood, California Store, and the Cerritos California Store, and the Torrance Store and the Thousand Oaks Stokes California Store and the Westminster California Store and I worked in the Radio Shack Corporate Office in the Cypress/Buena Park California Area on Knott Avenue. I have many memories of selling electronics and accessorizing. We would get spiffs on certain items we sold and would memorize scu numbers and model numbers and always would be reading manuals. We received many different kinds of product trainings from most of the product brands. Some managers were nice, but others were grumpy and a few were evil.

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