DISH Decides to Close Final 300 Blockbuster Stores
November 7, 2013 3:47 PM
comment(s) - last by
Internet killed the rental star
Once a giant of content distribution,
Blockbuster's ride into the sunset
has hit a major milestone with current own DISH Network Corp. (
) announcing the decision to close all 300 remaining video rental brick and mortar stores across the nation. Also closing will be the by-mail DVD rental business, with the service ending in mid-December.
Together these moves will result in about 2,800 layoffs. Blockbuster will continue to live on as a branded streaming content offerings from DISH -- including Blockbuster on Demand and Blockbuster@Home.
DISH President Joseph P. Clayton elaborates:
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.
The dream is over -- sort of -- but Blockbuster's streaming services will live on.
Founded in 1985, Blockbuster was the biggest video rental chain in 1997, when it reached 4,000 stores across the country and around the world. At the time it employed 60,000 employees. Viacom, Inc. (
), which acquired Blockbuster in 1994, took it public in 1999 under the BBI ticker, retaining partial ownership.
Blockbuster peaked in 2004, roughly two decades after its first store opened, with 9,000 total stores globally and about 60,000 employees. But ultimately, the root of Blockbuster's demise may have at least anecdotally lie in its controversial late fees policy. In 1998 new company "Netflix" was born.
One of the final 300 Blockbuster Video stores [Image Source: AP]
Founder and CEO Reed Hastings recalls in an interview:
I had a big late fee for 'Apollo 13.' It was six weeks late and I owed the video store $40. I had misplaced the cassette. It was all my fault. I didn’t want to tell my wife about it. And I said to myself, 'I’m going to compromise the integrity of my marriage over a late fee?' Later, on my way to the gym, I realized they had a much better business model. You could pay $30 or $40 a month and work out as little or as much as you wanted.
It turned out he wasn't the only one. While it took a while to catch on, Netflix, Inc. (
) (which went public in 2002), and later Redbox Automated Retail, LLC would slowly demolish Blockbuster's reign first by tapping in to public vehemence over Blockbuster's late fees, and later by capitalizing on Blockbluster's sluggishness in moving into the digital content delivery space. Oh, and
Netflix's use of patent litigation
helped to temporarily stall when Blockbuster
get serious about digital. Blockbuster eventually did
win the rights to launch digital services
and cut its late fees, but that
wasn't enough to save it
by 2010 it was bankrupt
Blockbuster helped Blu-Ray win by backing it in 2007. [Image Source: Akihabara News]
Arguably Blockbuster's last major contribution in the tech-space was
its decision to back Blu-ray in 2007
, a move that many felt at the time decided the high-definition war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD. (Blockbuster also
"almost" bought fallen consumer electronics retail giant Circuit City
-- imagine that duo!)
In 2011 DISH bought BlockBuster at auction for $234M USD in cash. By then
only the 1,700 most profitable or desirably located
of the 9,000 stores were still open. In the years since, DISH has used Blockbuster's brand to push its digital content delivery efforts, but has slowly trimmed the Mail-DVD and retail presence as it lost customers. And here we are today.
For a slightly more detailed history see Quartz's "
A Brief Illustrated History of Blockbuster...
" (1985-present) and Reel of Time's "
Reel of Time
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Nothing but contempt for video rental stores...
11/12/2013 3:58:46 PM
I still have the Blockbuster card in my wallet. It's unfortunate they're closing. I had a store right next to my apartment building. I could pick up a DVD on the way home from work, and return it the next morning on my way in to work. (I walk to work BTW)
It was very convenient, much more so than Netflix, where you have to wait several days for the DVD to come in the mail.
"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
Blockbuster Files for Bankruptcy
September 23, 2010, 10:49 PM
T-Mobile, Blockbuster Make 2011's List of Potentially Doomed Companies
July 12, 2010, 7:42 PM
Blockbuster Closes 1 in 5 U.S. Stores, Rental Stores Fading Into Twilight
September 21, 2009, 8:33 AM
Blockbuster Says Continued Operations are Questionable
April 7, 2009, 1:01 PM
Blockbuster Says "No" to Circuit City Purchase
July 2, 2008, 12:00 PM
Netflix Announces 7-to-1 Stock Split, Eyes Explosive Overseas Growth
June 23, 2015, 8:18 PM
Sources: Hack on Fed. Database Lost 4.1M Social Security Numbers, Personal Info
June 11, 2015, 9:11 PM
The Big One: Chinese Hackers Steal Records of 4 Million U.S. Gov. Employees
June 4, 2015, 8:13 PM
Tutorial: Here's How to Force YouTube or Vimeo VIdeos to Embed as HTML5
June 3, 2015, 10:14 PM
Google Finally Fixes Maps Bug That Was Giving Racist, Profane Results
May 21, 2015, 1:43 PM
The Pirate Bay Loses Its Iconic Swedish Dot SE Domains
May 20, 2015, 6:31 PM
Most Popular Articles
Windows XP, Vista Users Can Get Free Windows 10 Upgrade Thanks to Loophole
June 23, 2015, 2:23 PM
Under the Hood: Digging Into Sony's New CUH-1200 PS4, 1 TB Ultimate Player Ed.
June 23, 2015, 10:33 AM
U.S. Navy Spends $9M USD to Cling to Windows XP, Office 2003
June 24, 2015, 2:03 PM
Xbox Outsold 108-to-1 By PS4 in Japan, Weekly Sales Fall to 100 Units
June 22, 2015, 1:54 PM
SanDisk's 200GB microSDXC Card Turns Smartphones Into Enviable PMPs
June 26, 2015, 2:02 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information