Blockbuster To Close 182 Stores… Wait, There Are Still Blockbusters?

It’s hard to believe that Blockbuster’s $20 million TV ad campaign hasn’t been able to save the sinking ship. Alas, the once-great video chain will soon say farewell to 182 stores over the coming months.

From Bloomberg:

Blockbuster has already closed more than 1,000 underperforming stores in the past two years. It had about 3,000 stores when it entered bankruptcy protection and planned to keep the stores operating, but analysts anticipated hundreds of stores would eventually shut their doors. The company revealed in documents filed in Manhattan bankruptcy court on Friday that it plans to close 72 stores before the end of the year and another 110 stores in the first few months of 2011.

The locations of the soon-to-expire Blockbusters were not disclosed, so it’s probably best if you return that DVD you didn’t rent to that Blockbuster you haven’t been to since you signed up for Netflix… or started using Hulu… or learned about Bit Torrent… or, well you get the idea.

Regardless, this story gives us another reason to trot out the Blockbuster/SkiFree graph.

Blockbuster to close 182 stores by early 2011 [Bloomberg]


Edit Your Comment

  1. slim150 says:

    “You wouldn’t wait 28 days to sit at a restaurant or 28 days to wait for a dentist… so why would you wait 28 days for a movie?”

    Uhhhh because its a movie. The analogy in those commercials make no sense.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I actually have waited 28 days for a dentist – it’s the nature of having a very busy dentist and not needing an emergency toothectomy or anything. And, I will wait 28 days to sit at a restaurant, because DC restaurant week is late January and we always try new restaurants at that time.

      So yeah, Blockbuster can just crawl away now.

      • mindaika says:

        I’ve also had to wait 28 days for a dentist too, and that was for a relatively urgent care appointment. Yay PPOs!

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      No, it is a good analogy, just not worded appropriately.

      Would I wait 28 days to go to the restaurant I like if by doing so I got a cheaper meal without sacrificing quality? Yes, yes I would.

      • full.tang.halo says:

        lets see, spend $5+ bucks on ONE 2 day new movie rental @ BB
        Spend $13 on Netflix, get a massive streaming catalog and the slight inconvenience of a 28 day wait.

        Judging by BB’s bankruptcy, I think the public has spoken.

    • ophmarketing says:

      I’ve waited a lot more than 28 days for a (non-emergency) dentist appointment—my dentist is booked out several moths in advance.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      I don’t wait 28 days to see a dentist — with mine, you have to make appointments at least *two* months in advance!

    • Extractor says:

      I just have to walk to my mirror to see a dentist.

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    All of the stores (at least the ones I knew of) in my area closed a long time ago, and I’m always surprised when I actually see one. The last one I remember seeing, the sign was flickering and kind of dim, and the parking lot was empty.

  3. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:


  4. Reading_Comprehension says:

    There’s a Blockbuster in my town. I went there once…

  5. brit2380 says:

    if I waited 28-days to rent a new release from Blockbuster, there might not be any left!!!!!

  6. truss says:

    I like the convenience of being able to (almost) immediately pickup most movies I want from my local Blockbuster. However, with the public library, Netflix Instant Streaming, and the ability to rent many movies online from Amazon or iTunes for cheaper than Blockbuster, I find myself driving down to my local store less and less.

    Blockbuster also seems to have a different pricing scheme every time I go in. My local store advertises 99-cent rentals all over the store front – however, the only videos they have to rent for 99-cents are children’s movies – and they’ve changed the rental window from 7 days to 5 days and now down to 3 days in the past six months – and are still charging $5 for most rentals. No wonder RedBox and Netflix are moping the floor with these guys. Plus, nobody cares if they have to wait 28 days to rent the movie somewhere else.

  7. samonela says:

    Shock and awe is me.

  8. zappo says:

    It’s kind of sad really, the end of an era I guess. We used to go to Blockbuster at least once a week, sometimes several, years ago when VHS was the main rental medium.

  9. gallaghertron says:

    we have a blockbuster. And I actually see people coming in/out of there.

    • pittstonjoma says:

      Same here.. I wonder if mine will stay open?

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Mine too. It’s always fairly busy when I go in there. I like being able to run in there and grab something on the spur of the moment.

        There’s a Family Video on this end of town. If the BB closes I’ll just go in there.

  10. Red Cat Linux says:

    The one in my area leased halfit’s floor space to another company. Benjamin Moore Paints, I think. After that, I’m always surprised to see the lights on in the Blockbuster half.

  11. IT-Princess: I work in IT, you owe me $1 says:

    I am bad at returning things on time. The 28 day wait is fine with me.

  12. doctorc4 says:

    Why I use Blockbuster:
    We signed up for a 1 out at a time plan for $22 a month. That is 1 out at a time from,the store, no late fees, keep as long as I want. We can rent Video Games, movies, whatever! I show up at 10:00am when they open and return about every 2.5 hours to get a fresh movie. We have gone through 4 movies in a day! Not too shabby for $22 a month. I also rent video games when there are no movies that I want to see. We have had a great time!

    Between Netflix, Blockbuster, and Hulu Plus, we spend $50 a month, but don’t pay the extra $70 for cable.

    Why I don’t use the Library: Our Library is only open 3 days a week (Thanks Peoples Republic of MA!).
    Why I don’t use Redbox: They have a line. A LONG line of people trying to figure out how the hell to use the damned box. This is why I don’t go to the movies. People are dumb!

  13. damageinc says:

    I’d actually be kind of sad if they closed the blockbuster that’s across the street from me. I have a subscription to their [unadvertised] unlimited in store rental plan. No queues or shipping/turnover times, just instant blurays in my hand.

    That being said, this isn’t for most people since they can’t just walk out their door to the local BB, but its a great deal for me!

  14. Incredulous1 says:

    I’m leaving now to go use the $15 BlockBuster gift card someone gave my son 2 years ago. I’ll probably just buy candy.

  15. steveliv says:

    I really enjoy the Blockbuster Total Access because it allows me to get my movies and games via mail, and also allows for instant gratification by going to a b&m location. I would be bummed if it were discontinued.

    • wimom says:

      I agree. I use it, too, and I like being able to return a movie you just saw for another one. To me, it is the best of both worlds.

    • AK47 - Now with longer screen name! says:

      Me too. We tried Netflix, too, but weren’t impressed with the online streaming and were excited about BB adding games to the deal.

      Of course, we have 4 Blockbuster stores within a few miles of our house – – including right outside our grocery store – – so it’s super convenient for us to go to the store and trade out mailed movies for in-store rentals. Sounds like some of those stores might be closing now though!

  16. regann says:

    I’m sad about this, mostly because my sister is an asst. manager at Blockbuster and I’d prefer her to have a job. That said, I use Netflix.

  17. gman863 says:

    This isn’t nearly as newsworthy as A&P supermarkets declaring bankruptcy last week.

    Wait…there are still A&P stores? I thought they died about the same time as disco.

    • DerangedHermit says:

      They’re down to less than 400 locations now, all in the Northeast. Sadly, they’re still #1 on LI due to their massive amount of stores there since they own both Pathmark and Waldbaums.

  18. VouxCroux says:

    I’ve been wanting to buy a Tivo that the Blockbuster near me has for sale. But I hope it closes so they have a massive 75% off EVERYTHING sale

  19. Heresy_Fnord says:

    Why isn’t Netflix out of business? They don’t have any stores after all…

    If anyone here can’t see that Blockbuster can stay in business without stores, you don’t realize that they offer everything Netflix offers. Also anyone that loves hating Blockbuster, just wait to see if they truly do go out of Business. If they do, you’ll have plenty of time to tickle yourself over the lack of competition and the fact that Netflix can charge you whatever they want and add on any fee’s that they want because there will be no competition anymore.

    You’re lucky you have people like me that use Blockbuster’s mail service (just like Netflix, surprise!) otherwise the company you choose to do business with could jack their rates up to whatever they wanted.

    Competition is a good thing.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Except Netflix dominates the market for streaming, Redbox is cutting into the kiosk side (of which Blockbuster offers in name only; another company actually owns and operates the kiosks), and Apple TV and iTunes, Roku, TiVo, Amazon, Google TV, and everyone else is cutting into any market Blockbuster wants. Blockbuster has been playing catch-up for years; it’s not closing stores because it has figured out how to be more profitable in streaming; it’s cutting stores because it’s hemorrhaging money.

      • Heresy_Fnord says:

        “Except Netflix dominates the market for streaming, Redbox is cutting into the kiosk side (of which Blockbuster offers in name only; another company actually owns and operates the kiosks), and Apple TV and iTunes, Roku, TiVo, Amazon, Google TV, and everyone else is cutting into any market Blockbuster wants. Blockbuster has been playing catch-up for years; it’s not closing stores because it has figured out how to be more profitable in streaming; it’s cutting stores because it’s hemorrhaging money. “

        Itunes is largely considered for music only. Amazon is considered a retailer, google tv is blocked by all carriers, roku can’t stream all of netflix’s catalog (or haven’t you seen the newer article just posted about it.)

        It still stands that Blockbuster closing stores =/= out of business. Which was my original argument. If Blockbuster not having stores means they’re out of business then by that example, Netflix is already out of business.

        Blockbuster having stores runs deeper than them not being “hip or with it” as you clearly are making them out to be. (Who cares who provides the kiosks, their name is on it and that’s what the average consumer sees). They have mail order service JUST LIKE netflix. This just in, they have streaming too as I can stream Blockbuster to my Blu Ray player.

        They have had stores forever because that was the market. Movie studios have had deals with them for stores. They will have to continue to close stores as the business model changes and that’s what is happening now. Basically people want mail service or they want kiosks. However there are places where people do still go into the stores. For them to simply close all the stores would be too much. Even I would like to see their stores go away eventually.

    • Adam says:

      Moron, Netflix doesn’t have late fees. How can they charge a late fee on streaming, or disks that they send to you that don’t have a due date for return???

  20. Talisker says:

    One of my daughter’s classmates gave her a Blockbuster gift card for enough to cover one rental.

    Guess we should use it quick, though I think we’ll get her some candy or something since we don’t have a Blockbuster account.

  21. NightStalker3 says:

    Blink -182

  22. TheGreySpectre says:

    There are still a couple blockbusters in phoenix, I have never gone to them though.

  23. mbz32190 says:

    I found a Blockbuster gift card on the floor of my job ($10). Went over to one (haven’t been to a Blockbuster in years) and got a free video game. It took three employees to process it correctly, But I was surprised that this location was very “busy”. It wasn’t people renting anything, but many were buying movies. It is the real only convenient place that sells movies I guess, besides the Target or Kmart down the road.

    • Talisker says:

      Not as convenient as Amazon, though.

      • RandomHookup says:

        Amazon doesn’t have the “I want to own this disc and watch it now” convenience factor yet.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Actually it does. We bought Inception on Blu-Ray on Amazon and Amazon included a code to activate a copy we could watch right then and there on the computer (or the TV, if we had the computer hooked up to it).

  24. Me - now with more humidity says:

    I know a lot of folks hate Blockbuster. We just lost the last two here last week. My elementary school kid always appreciated that the stores would give kids a free rental when they brought in a report card with As and Bs.

    Time to sort out Netflix, although we don’t always rent movies every month. OnDemand is ridiculous — $5 to $10 a movie!? And the RedBox kiosks are woefully short on good movies.

    Time to ride the paradigm shift, I guess.

  25. snowmentality says:

    Yeah, the last remaining store in my area is in the process of closing down. They’ve sold off all but the super-crappy DVDs and are even selling off the wall and floor racks.

    I shrug, except for the fact that it will leave a big empty space in the shopping center, and good luck getting another tenant in this economy. But yeah, I haven’t been to a Blockbuster in at least 6 years. They never had anything I was particularly into watching.

  26. Buckus says:

    I, uh, I don’t really *pine* to see movies anymore. When they come out on basic cable or Encore (which I get free with my cable) then I watch it. Seeing it 28 days sooner doesn’t mean jack squat to me since I usually never plan to watch them anyways.

    Blockbuster is a joke. They made most of their money from late fees, not from renting movies. Once they cut that revenue stream off to try and be competitive, whoa! They found out their business model is broken. Except they haven’t come up with a good one that also involves keeping all their stores and still being competitive with Netflix, RedBox, etc…

    So, goodbye Blockbuster. You used to have some hotties working in your stores when I still went there way back in the day. Now…sayanora.

  27. eligiblebachelor says:

    Yea you laugh, but look check out the job loss figures from Blockbuster. Tens of thousands of jobs will be lost if they liquidate, thousands have been chopped since 2009.

  28. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Yikes. Guess I’d better take the gift card I got in an auction basket that I was giving to my kid for Christmas and actually buy a movie or game with it before they go bust.

  29. AnthonyC says:

    If you live near one of the soon-to-close stores, I recommend visiting it in the near future. They will be selling heavily discounted movies in the near future.

    Last year the blockbuster near me (which I had never gone to) closed. For two months leading up to the closing, every week they’d further discount all remaining stock. The were rental copies, final sale, but they did open each case and make sure they weren’t scratched before letting anyone buy them. I got about a dozen good movies for an average of $4 each.

  30. JamesBE says:

    The article says they want to renegotiate leases to keep stores open. My family owns a building Blockbuster rents. Since they haven’t paid rent in full for the past six months, I can’t wait to see what terms they try to give us.

  31. george69 says:

    why is everyone cheering for their death.

    i have not rented a movie in years, but its sad that the rental stores are dieing

    • Boberto says:

      Because their whole business model is a game of “gotcha”, with the usurious late fees. Abusing your customers (for fun and profit) is not a great way to build brand loyalty.

      They have also (historically) had a record of taking liberties with your credit/debt card number and overcharging (you’d find out, days or weeks later that they never logged in the rental, even though you did)

      Also, mandatory drug testing for all it’s employees using hair samples that could detect exposures months or even years back (they just happened to own the testing company).

      How many more examples do yo need? Let me know. There are many more.

  32. stevied says:

    $5 bin at Wallyworld is my source for movies.

  33. Jane_Gage says:

    Sanctimonious about porn, and now yer gone. : D

  34. Gladeye says:

    Good riddance. They only ever carried top 40 movies anyway. Nothing edgy, obscure, or old, and nothing controversial. Here’s to the death of vanilla!

  35. chocolate1234 says:

    I think I have a gift card from Blockbuster that I never used. Better use that soon…

  36. Battlehork says:

    I don’t see how 28 days makes a difference. If you didn’t see the movie when it came out in the theaters, you can wait another four weeks I’m sure.

  37. JPM says:

    Time to build my DVD collection some more, just like I did with Hollywood Video closings

  38. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    How are those “…ready in 28 days…” commercials workin’ for ya there, Blockbankrupted?