As media consumption shifts to streaming and downloaded products, retailers of physical entertainment media are being forced to change rapidly or die ignoble deaths.
At the same time that Blockbuster U.K. has entered administration (bankruptcy) and announced 160 of its stores across the U.K. will be closing, Blockbuster in the U.S. is having similar difficulties. Dish Network, the parent company for Blockbuster, announced this week that 300 Blockbuster video rental stores across the U.S. will close up shop in the coming weeks. The company told the Denver Post that around 3,000 employees will lose their jobs.
These new closings are on top of the 500 stores that Dish shut down last year. The company stated that only around 500 Blockbuster stores remain. This is down from the 4,000 U.S. stores the company had at the beginning of 2010, the same year it entered bankruptcy. The specific stores that will be closing have not been unveiled, but consumers who still live around a Blockbuster (and who still want DVDs or Blu-Rays) might want to watch for closeout sales.
A Dish company spokesperson told the Post that the company is currently evaluating Blockbuster stores on a case-by-case basis, and that underperforming stores will be closed. The company is also evaluating whether or not to sell smartphones and wireless service at Blockbuster stores, a sign of the times if there ever was one.