Blockbuster to Keep Open 1,500 Stores21 Jul, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Dish Network-owned rental chain shutters less than 200 stores since acquiring brand
Blockbuster LLC July 21 said it would continue operating 1,500 stores and employing 15,000 employees nationwide going forward.
The figure, which represents the first definitive store count since satellite TV operator Dish Network Corp. acquired the Blockbuster brand for $320 million in April, underscores the strength of traditional video stores despite ongoing market changes.
Indeed, Blockbuster LLC will continue to operate 90% of the stores it acquired in the asset sale.
“By lowering pricing and offering competitive summer promotions, we’ve brought millions of customers back into Blockbuster stores in the last three months to experience the best in convenience, choice and value,” said Michael Kelly, president of Blockbuster LLC. “Today, more than 100 million people live near a Blockbuster store.”
Indeed, Blockbuster has aggressively sought to compete directly with rental kiosks and Netflix by offering its Blockbuster Total Access subscribers unlimited in-store rentals on all titles, including new releases, video games and Blu-ray Disc without additional charges.
Kelly said Blockbuster store locations closing were due primarily to issues with landlords and not local market demographics. He said Blockbuster would seek alternative physical distribution channels in these areas.