When I read this story, I actually shed a tear (imaginary one, but you get the point.) I spent a bulk of my early years running between local video rental spots and chain stores like Blockbuster. For a kid like me who didn’t have cable, these stores were a savior to me.
With the Internet gaining more and more power over the years, watching movies before they come to the small screen has gotten easier to do making some of the stores that I grew up with obsolete. Shoot, you can even get adult films online, so no need to head to Blockbuster with a disguise on to watch the latest edition of “My Baby Got Back.” Add in Red Box and Netflix and you can see why the store rental places are going the way of the dinosaur.
After years of declining sales, Blockbuster has decided to close down their remaining few stores in the U.S.
Dish Network, which acquired Blockbuster in a bankruptcy auction in 2011, announced Wednesday that the video chain will close its 300 remaining retail stores in the U.S. by January of 2014. The brand will instead move to a streaming-only model.
“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” Joseph P. Clayton, president and CEO of Dish, said in a statement. “Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business, we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings.”
Blockbuster had 9,000 retail stores worldwide as of 2004, but the chain struggled in the face of competition from movie delivery services like Netflix. It filed for bankruptcy in 2010.