Print 71 comment(s) - last by callmeroy.. on Apr 30 at 10:41 AM

Blockbuster may have been busted by Netflix

For many years Blockbuster video enjoyed great success in the movie rental business. Blockbuster is one of the largest movie rental chains in the country, but the company has found that its continued existence is far from guaranteed.

Blockbuster has announced that there is "substantial doubt" about its ability to continue as a going concern. A going concern is a qualification that refers to an auditor's assessment of a company's ability to continue operations reports MSNBC.

Blockbuster is struggling with profitability and viability in the face of the rising popularity of mail-order rental services like Netflix the company stated in a SEC disclosure. Blockbuster had previously disclosed that an auditor was likely to raise doubts about its long-term viability.

Blockbuster stated last week that its revolving and term loan agreement had been amended giving the company a $250 million revolving loan for financing maturing on September 30, 2010. The company thinks it will be able to close the financing around May 11, but states that the closing of the loan is not assured at this point.

Blockbuster says that even if the loan is funded it, "may not have sufficient liquidity to finance the ongoing obligations of our business, which raises substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern."

Blockbuster shares fell 3 cents to 85 cents in trading after hours after closing at 88 cents reports MSNBC. In July of 2008 Blockbuster was considering the purchase of now defunct Circuit City.  

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RE: Simple Solution...
By Spivonious on 4/7/2009 1:34:46 PM , Rating: 3
They already offer a service like Netflix. I agree with you about closign the stores, but from my experience working there for a few years, LOTS of people rent movies every day over the summer. There were the regular third shift single guys, the regular housewives with young children, the regular Friday night teenager groups.

If you want a movie, and you want it now (and you don't have a way to hook your computer up to the TV) then there is no other option than to go rent one.

I think they should bring late fees back. They made up something like 40% of their revenue before they got rid of them. You just can't make that up in popcorn sales.

RE: Simple Solution...
By bbomb on 4/7/2009 3:02:55 PM , Rating: 2
Late fees have returned at the Blockbuster in our area. The Colony, TX

RE: Simple Solution...
By thequoth on 4/7/2009 5:22:57 PM , Rating: 2
What no one seems to have mentioned yet is that Blockbuster operates corporate stores and franchises. The corporate stores and the franchises (in my experience) are completely different and one of the differences is the late fee policy. Franchises pretty much do what they want. For example, the store in my area runs a rent 1 get 1 on Wednesday and they do charge late fees.

I have a Netflix subscription, buy movies from Best Buy, pay for premium movie channels on DirecTV, and every now and then I still rent a movie from Block Buster. There is a piece out there for everyone. Even having all this access to virtually any movie, sometimes I still cannot figure out what I want to watch.

I think blockbuster should focus on the thing that sets them apart form the online format like Netflix – real live people. Instead of paying any high school student $5/ hr to scan movies and take your money, employ pre-grad film students. Call them “movie guru’s” if you must, but let people know “if you have movie questions, we have movie answers”. Make going to rent a movie worth the trip.

RE: Simple Solution...
By Farva on 4/7/2009 5:31:52 PM , Rating: 3
I work at a Blockbuster (college job, not career move) and I can tell you that there are very few franchise Blockbusters anymore. BBV corporate bought out most franchises over the past few years. Also, late fees are soon going to return to all corporate Blockbusters, very soon. They were supposed to already be returned but BBV corporate can't decide on how to implement the change. Also there is going to be some new tiered rental arrangement (ie. 1, 3, 5, and month..yes, month rentals). This company is horribly ran from the C-level to the CSR level. No joke.

Luckily, I am graduating this May and have a real job, but I wouldn't hold by breath that BBV makes it more than a couple more years. They sent a mass email to all shift leads and store managers saying that their jobs were not in jeopardy and not to worry about the news. BTW, watch Clerks that is the attitude of most CSRs at Blockbuster.

RE: Simple Solution...
By Screwballl on 4/7/2009 10:09:09 PM , Rating: 2
I hope the local BB dies. They have screwed over so many people (including myself) saying they never returned a movie, tried charging them $40-100 for "movie plus late fees", and just all around bullshit.
The locally owned video store has better prices, has more movies in a smaller space, a real person actually calls you the next morning if a movie was not returned... instead of Blockbuster's crap automated system that never understands when you speak and doesn't recognize when you pressed "1", plus it refuses to work at all unless you call from the specific phone number registered under the Blockbuster account. Otherwise it just places you in a queue that will ring to the next available associate... yeah right I have been in that store and listened to the phone ring for 20 minutes before without a single person answering.

We refuse to go to Blockbuster anymore, Netflix or the locally owned store has what we need.

RE: Simple Solution...
By tlampen on 4/17/2009 11:47:36 AM , Rating: 2
Eff them for saying no late fees... at our BB store we don't have late fees but if you don't return the movie on time they charge you $40 to buy the movie and then you only get store credit when you return it. complete BS. I wish we had another local video store around but BB put them all out of business a few years back. another Sh!tty thing they are doing is effing their loyal customers by charging them for a "rewards" card. Friken make it free! Sh!t you not, the last time I went in to BB, their pitch to renew my rewards card was that the cost to renew was going to go up to $20 and I should renew it early because it is only $10 now! I hope they go out of business because they deserve it! Maybe it would allow a local Video store to come in and value their loyal customers as aposed to bending them over the counter!

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