More Blockbuster stores closing

There's little hope for the 1,000 video-rental locations that remain, but the Blockbuster name will live on in other ways.

By Kim Peterson Feb 23, 2012 4:06PM
Image: Man changing TV channels with remote control (© Flying Colours/Digital Vision/Getty Images)Say farewell to Blockbuster, the video chain that was once one of the biggest brand names in America.

The chain's new owner, Dish Network (DISH), has said it will close 500 under-performing Blockbuster locations with expiring leases, and it may close more beyond that. There were only about 1,500 Blockbuster stores left, so the announcement is one of the final nails in the coffin for the former video powerhouse.

Not that many people are complaining. Former Blockbuster customers still grumble about the chain's strict return policies. Remember the days when you raced to the store to get that movie back on time?

The Blockbuster name is still kicking, however. Dish Network has a Blockbuster-branded service that offers streaming video and by-mail DVD and video-game rentals.

Dish bought Blockbuster out of bankruptcy in 2011 for a price many considered a steal: $234 million. With a name like that, how could Dish go wrong?

As it turns out, Blockbuster stores aren't doing much for Dish's bottom line. The stores are only producing an average of $1 million in profit per quarter for Dish, Home Media Magazine reports. That means nothing to a company whose overall 2011 profit was $1.52 billion.

There's very little reason to keep the 1,000 remaining Blockbuster stores open at this point. Expect more closings as their leases expire.

But Dish seems to be getting some good mileage from the Blockbuster@home service. Executives said the service helped it attract new subscribers and lower its customer turnover rate to 1.63 in 2011 from 1.76 in 2010, Home Media Magazine reports.

The Blockbuster service helped Dish reverse its subscriber losses in the fourth quarter. Dish added 22,000 subscribers in the quarter, a nice change from the 250,000 subscribers it lost in the second and third quarters of last year. It had 14 million subscribers at the end of last year.

"By introducing new Blockbuster-branded services, we've begun to turn the tide in subscriber losses while continuing to face increased competitive pressures," CEO Joe Clayton said in the company's earnings release Thursday.

Dish shares were up nearly 2% Thursday afternoon to $29.68.

Tags: DISH
Feb 23, 2012 6:51PM

Well what comes around go around. They killed off all the private video stores places. Good for them. They shortchange the small business owners. They had it coming.

Feb 23, 2012 6:27PM
blockbuster took me too small claims court for 13 dollars in late fees.  that was the end of blockbuster for me. it costs at least 10 dollars for them to file it. of course i didnt pay...... screw you blockbuster.........​​.
Feb 23, 2012 6:55PM
Blockbuster just followed the new U.S. corporate model. Put all your competition out of business,eliminate every other video store,  then when they are gone attempt to rape your customers, if that doesn't work then sell out to another company leaving your loyal customers with nothing. Our local Blockbuster closed 3 weeks ago, no notice, nothing even on the door until the day they closed. Redbox doesn't have enough selection,we have Netflix but their downloadable selection sucks and if I go with a dvd I still have to wait 2 days to get it. Thanks, Blockbuster,I'm betting all your execs made out well, I bet far better then your poor min wage employees and your loyal customers.As far as Dish buying them goes, good luck with that; I wouldn't buy a life preserver from them if I was drowning; they were a terrible sat TV provider ,I'm thinking they won't be much better as a video provider.
Feb 23, 2012 10:00PM

You can screw over so many people for so long, then it catches up to you..  Blockbuster   Good riddance. goodbye  not good luck and  bye bye


Feb 23, 2012 9:32PM
I was paying under $20 a month and had 3 new releases at the time which I could exchange in the store, so I really got 6 movies a week, I think it was pretty good. But they stop this  and I had to look for something  else, found Netflix which is not really a great deal if you think about the choice you get, nearly no new release, comparison: Blockbuster was great, always new release could be rent every week and 6 movies a week? that was superb. Miss that!
Feb 23, 2012 8:12PM
I agree that Blockbuster doesn't deserve our sympathy, but the folks who will be out of work do. Unemployment will be through the roof come November... Karma is a bitch.
Feb 23, 2012 11:12PM

That's because a late fee (by any other name) is still a late fee.  A restocking charge just kinda makes you snicker and go "yeah, really?".  It's not nice when you take customers for dummies!


Feb 23, 2012 6:37PM
Who cares!!!!  their rules on rentals was crazy! one time my daughter got some videos,returned them..and i get a letter to return the videos or will be charged all this money..she had returned them..whats up with that?  i have only been in the store once..years ago..we get lots of movies on tv..or i can buy some on amazon,used,cheaper than their rentals..
Feb 23, 2012 9:59PM
"Red Box" is also killing them. Hard to beat $1 for a DVD rental and most are open/available 24/7
Feb 23, 2012 11:32PM
After the way I was treated by them several years ago, I hope they all blow up...
Feb 23, 2012 5:56PM
Once DirecTV has their own Blockbuster type service in place Dish can expect the losses to start back up.  The only way that company could generate new customers is by purchase someone elses business.  They certainly cannot come up with ideas on their own.
Feb 23, 2012 9:34PM
I just spent 29 dollars for keeping a video game for a week at blockbuster. I literally could have bought that game for less.
Feb 23, 2012 7:46PM
i do remember Blockbuster calling me at home saying I never returned their DVD and that I had a late fee. I went to their store and asked them how many copies of that DVD did the have and was told they had three of them INCLUDING the one they said I still had. I went to the shelf and brought ALL three copies to the counter and asked them "Could it be that one of these three here is the one that you FAILED to check in when I brought it back in time?" They said "Sorry". I believe that was my last time at Blockbuster.
Feb 23, 2012 6:55PM
I stopped going once it cost almost 10 dollars for two dvds and more for a game that you could only get for a couple of days. On top of that they just seemed to keep going up in price and you weren't always able to get the movies unless you went early in the afternoon. That was 2007 I stopped going and there online service is just as bad.
Feb 23, 2012 8:01PM

Happy to see Blockbuster finally getting the screws put to them after they came in and destroyed all the little Mom & Pop stores. I don't know what I hated more about Blockbuster--the high prices or the stupid clerks who knew nothing about movies. '" To Kill a Mockingbird? Uh, it's in mysteries, I think."'





Feb 23, 2012 7:39PM
Before Blockbuster came around we had a nice video store called Coconuts and their movie rentals were real cheap, $1.50 but they went out of business over Blockbuster.I never understood the big thrill with that place,their rentals are high.Even their used movies are either 3 or 4 for $20.00.Their new movies were higher than Walmarts.Serves them right,should have lowered the prices instead of having high ones.
Feb 23, 2012 9:37PM

Blockbuster You violated a sacred  trust, That is to deal with people with honor and integrity.  You failed on many accoutts. I will not miss you too much. Adios: I will miss you not much, and good riddance.


Feb 23, 2012 8:58PM
I returned a DVD on the date given.  I was fined $4.  When I asked why I was fined I was told that I was an hour late.  It was 2 PM.  I never went back.  Not at all sorry to see  them close. 
 Gouge is gouge.
Feb 23, 2012 9:49PM
Their accounting system was all screwed up.  They kept telling me that I owed them money for returning movies late or never having returned a movie.  I never returned a movie late.   Fortunately we had a Hollywood Video in town and they were competent.  Blockbuster was not competent.  They were the other end of the spectrum.  I'm glad to see they've gone under. 
Feb 23, 2012 11:23PM
Rotten shame.  Many American landmarks are going down.  What will be left in 2020?
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