It's Over, Blockbuster Closing Final 300 Stores
The biggest surprise in this news is that not all of Blockbuster's retail stores have been closed already. The once mighty chain, which had more than 9,000 stores at its heydey during the VHS, DVD and pre-streaming era announced that it will close its last 300 stores, officially exiting the market by January.
The company's online rental service Blockbuster Now will remain online, and the company's owner, Dish, hopes to eventually do more with the once mighty brand name.
Blockbuster L.L.C., will end its retail and by mail DVD distribution operations by early-January 2014. The company will close its approximately 300 remaining U.S.-based retail stores, as well as its distribution centers.
"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," said Joseph P. Clayton, DISH president and chief executive officer. "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 Blockbuster By Mail service will end mid-December and will serve existing customers until that time.
Over the past 18 months, Blockbuster has divested itself of assets in the United States, as well international assets, including operations in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia. DISH will continue to support Blockbuster's domestic and international franchise operations, relationships and agreements.
DISH will retain licensing rights to the Blockbuster brand, and key assets, including the company's significant video library. DISH will focus on delivering the Blockbuster @Home service to DISH customers, and on its transactional streaming service for the general market, Blockbuster On Demand.
The Blockbuster @Home service offers over 15 movie channels including STARZ Cinema, EPIX, Sony Movie Channel, and Hallmark Movie Channel, plus over 20,000 movies and TV shows streamed to TVs, computers or iPads. The service includes access to the Blockbuster @Home 'app' currently available to the millions of TVs served by DISH's Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR set-top box.