Blockbuster Closing All Retail Locations

    November 11, 2013
    Nanette Haz
    Comments are off for this post.

Blockbuster was extremely popular in the 90’s on weekends for bringing popular movies home to watch. Timing was of utmost importance to snag the newest releases for movie night. Business did thrive for the company for many years, and expanded into shopping centers in suburbs and cities throughout the country. Blockbuster announced on Wednesday that it will be closing its small inventory of stores that are still open in the United States. 300 stores will close forever in January of 2014. Ordering DVD’s by mail through Blockbuster will be discontinued in December of 2013.

When most consumers think about watching a movie, they do not immediately consider Blockbuster. Dan Rayburn from StreamingMedia.com stated, “Blockbuster has no brand. Consumers stopped thinking about the brand a long time ago. Why did they take so long to close?”

Open Blockbuster stores still received some business, but they simply can not currently compete with how consumers are choosing to be entertained.  Many children and teens have never experienced renting a movie or video game from a local Blockbuster store.  School aged children, teens, and adults have become accustomed to streaming their favorite movies on their televisions, computers, smart phones, and tablets.

The licensing rights of Blockbuster have been acquired by Dish Network. They currently offer the streaming of movies for Dish TV customers at an added cost to their monthly cable services. The current web portal, Blockbuster on Demand will remain open for customers who want to continue streaming their movies. This site charges a small monthly fee to access their catalog of movies.

“The quantity of movies is so limited,” Rayburn said. “Some of them are not even on (high-definition). It’s not even a real service. You can’t put it up there with Vudu or Netflix or Hulu.”

Although the Blockbuster on Demand service is limited and hasn’t yet caught up to its competitors it is going to remain open. Joseph Clayton the CEO of Blockbuster’s parent company Dish Network stated, “This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment. 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.”

Going into a video store at the start of a weekend is a feeling that many people will never experience. The human touch when things go wrong is now a thing of the past, with renting movies and games. Being able to pick up a movie immediately was one of the best perks of Blockbuster. The flexibility of being able to stream movies online and renting from Redbox or other kiosks after pumping gas or getting groceries, can’t really compete with a video store that charges much more for the same service.

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  • Olden Days

    I actually miss going to the video store. You got to interact with people. Yes, Netflix is more “convenient” and I like it, but ultimately we are becoming isolated because of these things.

    All this technology is isolating America. I saw a girl in Walmart that was shopping with her mother. The girl had a smart phone and was texting. She literally ignored her mom and ran into 2 customers because she never looked up from the phone. That is how isolated we are getting.

    Netflix is good though. It is cheap, but eventually, it won’t be.

    • Patricia

      Olden Days I agree with you and I’m 19, it’s sad to see how people are becoming with all these innovations and technology. Everyday there’s more isolation and less human interaction, less jobs.
      The world we live in reminds me of the movie Wall-E that’s how today’s society is becoming, just have their faces stuck to a screen and eat fast food. Now all we need is a Wall-E.

      • MC

        Unfortunately, we are also becoming like the film Idiocracy

    • Jill

      I like how online stores you can rent movies like on itunes. I will never go back to the library again. They charge $2 a day for DVD rentals, if they are late about a week depends on how many discs, it is a big fee. One time I had to pay almost $50 for a week late, and I was screw the library, never again… With Itunes, the rentals only last 1 day, and they go away after the movie is done. Ya save a lot of money with online services, never have to hand out cash if late.

  • Doug Fox

    Here, Here!! There’s something to be said for going into a store and perusing the isles…Anyone remember what it was like to walk through a library to find hidden treasures? Apparently not. I will miss our store which has just closed its doors. I’ll miss the staff as well…but then I’m sure corporate took good care of them…right?! Because finding jobs right now in small town America is so easy.

    • John

      What exactly do you want “corporate” to do for them? Blockbuster is millions in debt and has been unprofitable for years, hence the reason why they are closing all of their stores, you are trying to tell me it’s “corporate’s” fault that times have changed and people don’t want to go to video stores anymore?

  • Matt

    I agree and disagree. I do agree that there was something fun about going to a video store and browsing the aisles, getting out of the house, etc – however, I NEVER liked Blockbuster, they never cared about the customers. Most local small time video stores would offer deals, older films were cheaper and you could keep them longer, not at blockbuster.

    All videos were the same high price, and does anyone else remember that garbage they did with the returns where if you rented it on Friday you had to have it back by Saturday at noon? Just what people want, to have to get up on the day off and rush to the video store instead of sleeping in. I’ll miss rentals, but I’m happy to see Blockbuster fall.

  • Patricia

    This is very sad. Blockbuster has done their errors I agree but reality is that “one does the harm, and another bears the blame”. Many people will lose their jobs, I can say all the years I went there employees were always very nice and friendly. If I was ever charged more, the employees were simply doing their job.

    For me Blockbuster is a big part of my childhood and life, it wasn’t just a simple movie rental, it was a bonding experience with my mom, browsing through the aisles, looking at the different covers, buying candy and popcorn. Knowing Blockbuster will close its stores makes me tear up. Movie nights won’t be the same.

    I hope I’m not the only one who has this opinion.

    P.S. I agree with you Olden Days and I’m 19 by the way.

  • Gene Hibberd

    I’ve rented/purchased/seen more movies than the author of this article has thumbed on her iPhone. Supporting this closure is like Obama care. These industries can do better from a centralized distribution. But is this Better and for Who? The goal here (which should be the theme of this article)is to provide us with nothing we can touch, i.e. digital vapor ware. A service NOT a product.

    Remember when the MBA gurus were saying that the U.S. will be a service based economic powerhouse and let the 3rd World countries sort out the manufacturing, we’re too good for that. Now we are taking our astronauts & satellites to Russia and China to orbit them. Why? because our young generations are selling hamburgers and dresses while txting on phones made in the Jiangsu & Shanghai provinces. Technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, nanotechnology, not where I live. We have 450 restaurants in a town of 110k people.

    Now when these minions get off work, they can go to their little LID (low impact development) apartment, hang their Japanese bike over the rail of the 10th floor 4×8 patio, turn of the Samsung made in.. well you know, download the movie that was produced in Canada, China or Europe, then fall asleep half way through, then it’s gone. She sits there in the morning after, thinking about those cool airplanes, trains and automobiles in last nights movie. Now it’s time to walk the chipmunk in the community park. Then back to the phone, the internet and the next digital download, sure hope they didn’t raise the price, the good ole Blockbuster on the corner is history.

  • KDB

    Mr. Rayburn is wrong, many customers went to Blockbuster and the name is still clearly recognized. The closing of the Blockbuster stores is a travesty. I am extremely disappointed. My family went to the Blockbuster store almost daily. It was close enough to ride our bikes too. It only cost $16/ month and we could rent one movie at a time. That means we could rent as many movies as we wanted or could watch in a day all month. We more than got our money’s worth out of that deal. We would much rather rent a movie to watch than watch what is on TV. I enjoyed the conversations with the store employees and like to hear their recommendations and their commentary on the movies I was thinking about renting. I like to pick up look at and read the movie cases. I don’t want to watch movies on my computer, tablet or phone, I don’t want to have to purchase another “box” (such as PS4, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox, Roku, or Wii) or a “smart” TV, and I don’t want to have to wait to see a movie via mail. I also don’t like renting via RedBox because there are not as many movies to choose from and I don’t like feeling rushed if people are in line behind me while I’m trying to pick a movie. This is a travesty.

  • MDS

    I for one will miss Blockbuster, though I admit it has been years since I actually rented from them – they closed the ones nearest to me, and it was no longer convenient to drive the extra 30 minutes to get to the next nearest one. But I remember how thrilled my kids were when they were young (pre-teen) when we’d take them to the Blockbuster store and they could wander the aisles trying to pick “just one” movie for our weekly movie night (three kids + 2 adults, 5 movies made for a good weekend). Pick up a movie, order a pizza from the pizza place that invariably was a few doors down, and our friday night movie night was set. Not to mention the deals when they would put the used videos up for sale. It’s the end of an era, that’s for sure.

  • Preet

    I just cant be alone on not being able to “get it”. How can Blockbuster be that effected by Netflix and whatever else is out there. When a new movie came out, you went out to rent it and enjoy. Now people stream movies that I think is not even true high def like the discs are (1080p). Blockbuster being closed is just like any other major store closing down.This place was a huge part of my life as it was for many others. The best part was interacting with all the other people and the fun employees in my area. I am just stunned by all this. So someone help me out – what do we do now to rent a movie in blu ray/1080p???

  • John

    Chill we need blockbuster open I remember when I was little my parents always took me there….

  • Jason

    IT is funny to see people get sentimental(ish) for the “good ol Blockbuster on the corner”. Anyone old enough, will recall Blockbuster franchises raining from the sky and crushing the ORIGINAL Mom and Pop indie video joints.

    Live by the sword – DIE by the sword.

  • louis

    hi i am very disappointed about blockbuster closing down…. joking hahahahaha peak times for you fam dont ever come to my endz again fam i will get my squad on you