Meron Belachew, owner of Chumps DVDs in Three Rivers, announced via the business’s Facebook page late in the day on Tuesday, Dec. 13, that this was her final day of business at her Three Rivers location. She cited declining revenue and dwindling support from her Three Rivers customers who still prefer renting movies over streaming via the Internet from several online providers that are now available to Three Rivers subscribers.
Belachew, who relocated from Claremont in Southern California in June 2014, purchased the store inventory and rented the mixed-use zoned property that also comes with living quarters. She said earlier Tuesday that the store inventory could be moved and utilized in another movie rental business that is thriving in Southern California.
There was some confusion among Belachew’s customers if Chumps might reopen at another Three Rivers location. While she was waiting for the store’s outstanding rentals to be returned, Belachew said she would entertain offers to buy the long-standing business.
The previous owner Derek Philp purchased the former Three Rivers video and game rental business in 2004 and renovated the premises. Before Philp acquired the business it had been operated by Kevin Wind and his partner.
The sale of Three Rivers Market is currently in escrow and the deal is expected to close by the end of the month. Sam Yim, 75, the current owner, purchased the market from Darol and Ruth Ruffner in September 2002.
Yim told his current employees that the new owner will be taking over in January and although he is anxious to begin retirement, he will stay on for several months to teach them the finer points of operating the business.
The purchase price was not disclosed.