The days of dropping by Blockbuster after work to pick up a movie to watch will soon be gone for good.
Although the video-rental chain has already shut down about 1,400 stores, there are still 300 more scattered throughout the United States. That is until Dish Network Corp. (DISH), current owners of Blockbuster LLC., close them down. Dish announced today that it plans to end DVD-by-mail services by the middle of December and to completely close the remaining stores by January of 2014.
With about 8-10 employees in each store, this move will get rid of about 2,800 jobs in total. Although the stores and DVD-by-mail services will be gone, Dish will retain the licensing rights to the Blockbuster brand and continue to stream them from their own devices.
As recently as 2004, about 9,000 Blockbuster stores could be found in multiple shopping centers throughout most cities. Internet streaming services like Netflix Inc. (NFLX) wreaked havoc on the video-rental industry. These streaming services gained instant popularity and destroyed the video-rental store business. By 2010, Blockbuster LLC had to file for bankruptcy protection.
Dish Network swooped in to buy the dwindling company in 2011 and originally planned to use Blockbuster stores to sell their own mobile devices, which could stream movies from the video-rental chain. Unfortunately for Dish, they had trouble getting approval for their satellite spectrum for terrestrial data and voice transmission and instead started to close down many of the stores they had bought just a short term before.
Although Blockbuster will no longer exist as a tangible store, Dish plans to continue to use its name for the Blockbuster @Home and Blockbuster on Demand options so that their users can stream movies to televisions, computers, and certain mobile devices. In this format, the Blockbuster name might be able to give other powerhouse services like Netflix some competition.
Closing down the Blockbuster stores will not negatively impact Dish Network Corp., but it definitely marks an end of an era for movie watchers everywhere. Gone are the days of “be kind, rewind.” Instead, people can watch their favorite movies and television shows right from streaming services without ever having to leave the house.