Blockbuster To Close 282 Stores

The AP is reporting that Blockbuster will be closing 282 stores nationwide and will beef up spending on its online DVD rental service in order to compete with industry-leader Netflix. From the AP:

“Traffic is just not what it used to be when Blockbuster was the big rooster in the hen house,” said Andy Cross, senior analyst with The Motley Fool.

In 2006, Blockbuster closed 290 U.S. stores and transferred a quarter of the revenue from closed stores to surrounding stores, the company said. It expects similar benefits to surrounding stores from the anticipated closures this year.

The company is aggressively seeking a new approach after years of ignoring Netflix, Cross said.

“They don’t make any money on the online business, which is a smaller part of their current business, and they’re not going to make any money on that, definitely not this year,” Cross said. “I personally think they will continue to struggle.”

Hmm, Where do they stock the used XBOX 360 games?

Blockbuster Closing 282 US Stores [Forbes]


Edit Your Comment

  1. alpha says:

    Sweet. So we went from a nice layout, with a good portion of an article on the main page, to a not-so-nice layout with only a brief summary on the man page, encouraging click-throughs…to these last two articles, with nothing but a picture and a headline on the main page! YAY!

    Please, for the next modification, make us click-through to read each single word in the headline. No really. That will make us all wonderfully happy I promise.

  2. capstinence says:

    : I have to click through every single article now to read anything but the headline? Sad times.

  3. dlmarcou says:

    What, $8 for a new release movie rental, and they still can’t keep all those stores open? Go figure.

  4. tvh2k says:

    Any idea which stores?

  5. Havok154 says:

    And why did people all of a sudden care when they said they weren’t going to carry HD-DVD. It’s obvious they have a good grasp on their customers. I mean, just look how successful they’re doing.

  6. Steve518 says:

    Call me crazy, but wouldn’t this run counter to their whole ‘rent online with the option to rent at the store too’ ad push?

  7. Yaotl says:

    They closed my local store 2 months ago. Now I have to go out of my way to rent in-store. Seriously considering netflix now, blockbuster has no more advantages for me anymore.

  8. plim says:

    @Steve518: i was just thinking the same thing. now if your “local” store is 3 towns away, what’s the benefit?

  9. joemono says:

    For the BB haters keepin score at home: 282 down, 4500 to go.

  10. plim says:

    actually..conspiracy theory: closing of stores was part of the settlement between netflix and blockbuster =P

  11. CreativeLinks says:

    Maybe they should start offering porn. That will keep them open.

  12. lavandowska says:

    If they close my local store I’ll certainly be cancelling the Blockbuster Online account: the only advantage they had over NetFlix was the ability to trade-in for an in-store video. Never much liked them anyway.

  13. B says:

    @Steve518: That’s why they’re offering cheaper plans where you rent online exclusively.

  14. kip says:

    Once you try Netflix, you’ll never go back!

  15. groupie says:

    @kip: That’s the truth. I forgot Blockbuster even existed until I read this article and thought, “My dad used to go there in the late 90s.”

  16. fhic says:

    Dear Consumerist,

    Could you do an article on this online media outlet that consistently ignores hundreds of complaints about its “new and improved” user interface from its loyal users? It just keeps “upgrading” its sites and ignoring all the complaints. I forget the name… I think it’s called “Gawker Media” or something like that.

  17. enm4r says:

    @fhic: Aren’t they the guys who had some Best Buy undercover sting video that they touted for awhile, only to forget about every publishing it?

  18. eli_b says:

    There are not only 4-6 blockbusters in town, but I have a card, AND free movie rental passes…and I haven’t been in there in years. The movies are way overpriced, they never have new or even old movies that I go in there to get, and the staff is always rude, including managers. F-blockbuster, online or otherwise.

  19. Havok154 says:

    I know this doesn’t apply anymore but I stopped going there when they tried charging me a late fee because I brought back 2 movies and one of them was due back at noon. If my movies are due back on Tuesday, then it should be by the time they close, not only for some movies. I probably still have a late fee there, I haven’t been there in at least 6 years.

  20. jeffeb3 says:

    There are blockbusters everywhere, removing a few duplicates is not such a bad thing. I use blockbuster’s online service, and I return my movies at the store even if I don’t get new ones, because they send out the next movies faster.

    I also use the one coupon per month I get for a free rental on a game. It’s nice since they like to charge $8 for a game rental.

    Still, I’d be upset if they closed the store that’s on my way home from work.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with netflix, they have more movies (if you like foreign, special interest, lesbian, independent films) but the in store compliment makes blockbuster the better. I haven’t spent a dollar in a blockbuster store in years though.

    BTW, with their new late-fee policy, you can keep stuff a week longer than the due date, w/o fees, and the next month after that is $1.25. If you keep it longer than 1 week + 30 days past the due date, they make you pay for it.

  21. quagmire0 says:

    I knew that when the Blockbuster near me started sweating the new Family Video in town, that **** was about to hit the fan. :)

  22. AcidReign says:

    &nbsp &nbsp Yay! Finally, I got a comment in that was formatted the way I wanted! Whoooooo!

    &nbsp &nbsp Around Alabama, Movie Gallery has been a lot better for a while, now. The public library and FREE DVD checkout can’t be beat, though!

  23. yg17 says:

    Good riddance. Netflix > *

  24. Roundonbothends says:

    Gee, if they closed my local store, I’d drop my by-mail plan. I’ve gotten used to my six movies per week.

  25. mycroft2000 says:

    The Blockbuster in my upscale Toronto neighbourhood (Bloor West Village) actually closed about six weeks ago, and had seemed a ghost store for months before that. In Canada we have a Netflix equivalent called Zip that is just killing Blockbuster. And good riddance, I say.

  26. Mom2Talavera says:

    @Havok154: that back by noon shit pissed me off. Some days I cant get the car till after 3pm >:-[

    My local Blockbuster sucks. God forbid you might want to watch something other than a Disney movie or some major motion picture pile of shit like “white chicks”

    I hope my BB closes too!

  27. TedSez says:

    There’s a Blockbuster two blocks from where I live, but I never go there. Why? They charge a ridiculous $4.30 for new releases, compared to $2 at other local chains, $1 from the RedBox machine in my nearby supermarket, and free at my public library (which has started buying brand-new DVDs). In addition to that, since they instituted the no-late-fee policy and combined with Blockbuster Online, they almost never have movies I want to see in stock anyway.

    I imagine other people have the same issues. So the question isn’t why they’re closing some stores, but how they’re managing to keep the rest of them open.

  28. 300sd says:

    blockbuster is trading it’s profit bread and butter ($4+ in store rentals) for money losing blockbuster online. Everyone in my area has gone blockbuster online and trades all their movies in the local blockbuster, that if you aren’t a blockbuster online member, there will be nothing to rent in the stores by Wed. (new releases come out Tuesday) even if you’re willing to pay the $4+. What ends up happening is that more and more people get pissed off, join blockbuster online (causing less $4+ rentals in store), or just give up and take their business elsewhere

  29. jdorian says:

    Who says that Blockbuster doesn’t want people to return the dvds to the stores? Since they can then ship an entire days worth of returns in a single box back to the distribution center, it might actually save them money?

  30. synergy says:

    From what I know of people who do the online Blockbuster membership (Netflix rip-off), the main reason they do it is because they can either get movies from an online queue or creak their way into their car to go to the brick-and-mortar. With a bunch of stores closing, what exactly does Blockbuster hope to have to challenge Netflix with??

  31. ZonzoMaster says:

    The game-rush (from BB) store is growing here in Mexico, they exploited the poorly discovered market of videogames, other stores just charge too much money.

    I’m renting from a local business anyway, but i usually sell used games to them (they just buy those useless games for too much), and yeah i freaking buy them in the US and sell them in Mexico, border advantage =P .

  32. Anonymous says:

    Blockbuster is the only rental store I’ve ever rented at, to send a collections agency after me, for owing $3 in late fees. I tried their online rental for a few months and it was horrible. Everything I put in my queue was listed as “long wait”. I’ve never had this problem with Netflix. I’m glad Blockbuster is closing some of their stores. They have a horrible selection anyway.