Dish Serves Bad News for BlockBuster Employees, Closing Remaining Stores and DVD-by-Mail Service
I find it a little ironic (and sad for the employees involved) that years later, Blockbuster now finds itself in a similar situation. Just as the big chains put independently owned video stores out of business, streaming video services like Netflix and Hulu have now destroyed Blockbuster's ancient business model. Blockbuster may have accelerated the demise of shops like the one I worked at, but it too was on a path headed towards a dead end, only it didn't know it yet.
In any event, it's now officially the end of an era (you could argue the era ended several years ago, and I wouldn't disagree with that). Blockbuster held on as long as it could, but reality being a stone cold killer at times, Dish Network today announced plans to close Blockbuster's approximately 300 remaining stores in the U.S., as well as its distribution centers, thereby ending its DVD-by-mail business.
"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."
That's what is left of Blockbuster at this point -- a brand. Dish plans to cease Blockbuster's retail operations in early January 2014 and DVD-by-mail service in mid-December, leaving Dish with only a brand name and video library. Going forward, Dish will use the Blockbuster name to promote its own satellite TV offering.