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Internet kills the Blockbuster video store

By Brian Stelter

New York Times

LAST UPDATED: 05:45 a.m. HST, Nov 07, 2013

Blockbuster, which had more than 9,000 retail stores across America just nine years ago, is closing the few hundred video-rental stores that it still has, the company's owner, Dish Network, said Wednesday in a bittersweet but long-expected announcement.

Dish, which acquired Blockbuster through a bankruptcy auction in 2011, after the retailer had already been crushed by digital video distributors like Netflix, said it still saw value in the brand name and would use it in limited ways. But it will close all Blockbuster locations — it says there are about 300 left — and the distribution centers that support its DVD-by-mail service, which is also being dismantled.

The announcement amounted to a surrender: A statement that Netflix, symbolized by its little red envelopes and more recently its streaming service, had prevailed over the little blue boxes that Blockbuster VHS tapes and DVDs came in.

"This is not an easy decision," Joseph P. Clayton, the chief executive of Dish, said in a statement, "yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment."

Clayton added, "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."

Dish still operates "Blockbuster@Home," a streaming film service for its satellite television subscribers, and "Blockbuster On Demand," a competitor to the iTunes Store. Dish said it would hold onto the rights it owns for streaming content.

When Dish took over Blockbuster in 2011, the company had about 1,700 stores, but many of them were closed shortly thereafter. After the remaining stores are closed, there will still be a handful left, because about 50 Blockbuster locations in the United States are owned by third-party franchisees and thus are not affected by Dish's decision.

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kiragirl wrote:
The Internet will also kill our US postal service if they do not shape up with their rising cost.
on November 7,2013 | 04:05AM
mikethenovice wrote:
The PO will kill itself. They over work the bottom rank to the point of sacrificing service. My mailman sees me, yet does not attempt to deliver a box to me. He just puts a pick up notice for me to pickup. at the PO. FedEx and UPS would never do that.
on November 7,2013 | 05:18AM
krusha wrote:
Yeah, but that would kill Netflix if the US postal service goes under...
on November 7,2013 | 05:33AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Good riddens
on November 7,2013 | 05:19AM
mikethenovice wrote:
I don't need the PO.
on November 7,2013 | 05:19AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Who needs the PO?
on November 7,2013 | 05:20AM
mikethenovice wrote:
The PO still around?
on November 7,2013 | 05:20AM
Ulalei wrote:
Camera Club
on November 7,2013 | 07:03AM
GoldenDisc wrote:
Blockbuster killed the mom and pop video stores. I still have memories of those small stores. Was fun to find interesting movies you never heard of.
on November 7,2013 | 07:39AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
I'm with you, GoldenDisc. There was a time that you could rent a video for a dollar. That was a good value. Then came Blockbuster that charged five bucks for a rental. It was simply too expensive for most folks. Then Netflix came around and for only three bucks more you got thousands of titles to choose from for a whole month. It is so easy to see why Blockbuster folded. It was their cost.
on November 7,2013 | 08:38AM
kennie1933 wrote:
Technology is going to kill a lot of different things. Of course, business that rely purely on technology sales such as video stores will eventually go under, but the same for "record" stores, computer stores, etc. Jobs, too! Even at retail and grocery stores, we already see self-serve check-outs. For now, the human cashiers are safe because there are so many, umm...."technically challenged" people who try to use the self-serve check-outs and fail. I only use them if NO ONE is in line; otherwise, its often faster to go to a human cashier. The real growing industry, I think, will be in personal delivery services. You can buy almost anything on the internet thus bypassing retail stores, but somebody has to physically DELIVER.
on November 7,2013 | 10:40AM
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