Deathwatch: Blockbuster digging its own grave ready for death

14 June 2010

deathwatch The era of trudging down to the video rental shop to hire a VHS or DVD for you to watch could almost be over – in the US of America, Blockbuster are on the brink of extinction.

Bitterwallet - Blockbuster VideoThe company that was once a byword for film rental is preparing itself for bankruptcy according to a report on The Consumerist. With $900 million of debt and its business model blown out of the water by postal film rental and instant movie downloading, the Blockbuster store suddenly looks as outmoded as the Sinclair ZX81 and white dog shit.

The company has had a bash at postal rental, but with so many other competitors offering the same service, and with some offering better value, it hasn’t been enough to keep Blockbuster afloat.

As yet, there has been no word on the future of Blockbuster’s UK stores and we’ll be watching the American skies for developments on the this one.

Are you still a Blockbuster customer or have you moved on to other sources for your filmic entertainment? Will you mourn their demise or are you too cold-hearted and cynical for all that sort of thing?

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  • Matt
    If you can get a 3 night rental that ends after they go tits up, does that mean that you would be able to keep the movie? ;-)
  • FattyDan
    Sad to see it happen but it was inevitable.
  • Codify
    They deserve this. Over the last five years they changed their stores from DVD rental stores to DVD retail shops. The rental section of the stores steadily diminshed in size to the point it was hard to find anything interesting to watch - instead the rest of the shop was taken over by the selling of full-price retail DVDs, which was never going to be able to compete with online retailers offering the same DVDs for a quarter of the price. If they had stuck to their core rental business they might have had a chance. There will always be a market for people wanting an impulse rental on a friday or saturday night, the postal rental companies don't compete in that market which was blockbuster's core strength. Idiotic decisions by their management to try to get into bricks and mortar retail , which is dead for DVDs/CDs/video games.
  • Alexis
    It was clear postal rental was the future back in 2001. They should have concentrated on that instead of just dipping a toe in the water and offering less than Love File et al.
  • Betty S.
    People watch DVDs?
  • robstar
    Anything to do with illegal filesharing and fast BB speads?
  • Ted S.
    Blockbuster? Shitbuster more like.
  • Pizza_D_Action
    Surely even postal-rental's days are numbered with pay per view movies on demand on sky / virgin without the need to move off the sofa.
  • Dan
    Even postal rental in just a stop-gap until on-demand broadband devilery becomes more techincally and financially viable.
  • David
    Yes, I never see white dog shit anymore. What ever happened to it?
  • MrRobin
    I hadn't used Blockbuster for many years until quite recently when they've had some cracking deals (discovered courtesy of HUKD, of course) where the rental was really cheap. Even then, I was still turned off by the combination of late fees (is really a thing of the past now that the postal rental companies don’t have them), lack of availability of rental titles (although there were available for sale on the next aisle) and the very dreary looking stores. Blockbuster must have seen this coming a mile off… but they have refused to change their core business! They have a great network of stores, why not have a delivery service? (like a pizza delivery, not thru the post) Scrap late fees, introduce an ‘all you can eat’ type subscription instead of per movie etc etc etc. Sorry Blockbuster but you’re a dead man walking
  • Gunn
    @Codify, The impulse buyers can easily just browse at home for on-demand movies from Sky or Virgin or online. So I don't see much longevity in the market for that.
  • Dopile
    Its often cheaper to buy the movie on dvd elsewhere than rent from Blockbuster (especially if u have to pay late fees)
  • Paul
    the lack of white dogshit is because they stopped putting calcium in the dog food
  • Mark
    They were rubbish last time I used them (about fifteen years ago), and that was at the height of their 'popularity'. They always ran out of current releases, would usually give me an un-rewound or just plain knackered tape, filled the shop with crap I didn't want rather than a decent range of films, and employed consistently unmotivated, rude staff. Good riddance.
  • PaulH
    Arnt they the only shop to still sell the HD-Drive for the Xbox
  • Mike
    Do people even read articles before posting? Its the American side thats going bust, nothing to do with the UK one!
  • MrRobin
    Yes, Mike, we read that, but the UK arm is sure to follow...
  • Mark H.
    You've waited 15 years to be able to say that haven't you ;-)
  • Christian
    I'm gonna stick my neck out here and say out of all the DVD postal delivery services Blockbuster have been flawless. That is compared from the lackluster service provided by Lovefilm and Cinema Paradiso but I will concure that phisical media is pretty much a dead format so its only a matter of time before all postal services go the way of Blockbuster USA.
  • Mr O.
    White dog shit is from dogs that have eaten bones. As dogs don't eat bones now cos there are no real butchers anymore.
  • J
    Blockbuster's UK arm became financially separated from the US company earlier in the year. See:
  • JayB
    Regardless of how great or crap they are, at the end of the day if they close down it's going to make this country's unemployment problem even worse. I would not want to wish anyone out of a job so here's hoping that they remain trading!
  • George
    Notice how white dog sh!t vanished under New Labour? They had teams driving around in vans spraying it brown or black. Now that's good use of tax payer's money!
  • George
    Needless to say it will be making a glorious return in the coming months. Keep you're eyes peeled. This is not a joke.
  • CrazyCanuck
    Heh. Thinking back on it, I believe I have in fact used my ZX81 more recently then I have rented a DVD.

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