Deathwatch - pressing eject on Blockbuster Video

17 March 2010

Bitterwallet - Blockbuster VideoBarely a week ago, I drove past a small retail park and notice the blue and yellow branding for BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO. After a decade of mainstream DVD usage, I had to wonder what would happen to a company that couldn't be arsed to pay for new signage. Now I know.

Blockbuster has been trying to flog its UK and European operations for some time, and it's now looking likely it'll have to put up its Canadian stores as collateral for the business, because the company has failed to secure bank credit to bankroll new stock. Without the additional funding, there's an question as to whether Blockbuster can keep supplying new releases, which is kind of the whole point of it existing.

The supply issues are one of a number of factors that may see Blockbuster seeking bankruptcy protection, and that raising cash to purchase stock using its own stores as collateral may be the only way forward. In February, the company's auditors warned that Blockbuster may not be able to continue as a going concern if its cash situation didn't improve. To be fair, I don't see the world mourning the loss.


  • An e.
    As a student i only work there a couple of shifts a week and i cant wait to get out of there once i graduate (will be leaving them in May). We all know the company is going down hill. This year started with the managers telling us that it was the best Christmas sales in the last 6 years! We even got a bonus of £5.64 between 7 of us! Yes thats right 80p each which we didnt even get as it was "donated" to a Charity! Their pockets maybe? They used to give us double pay for bank holidays, not anymore! Few weeks ago we got an email telling all the stores that they must try to save money on electricity and not leaving light on in empty rooms. A week after that we had 20% of our hours cut and then a couple a weeks ago we were told we cant get new blu-ray films out until they have been released for 2 weeks! Oh and the prices of rental blu-rays are going up by 26p. The swines!! (lets hope i still have a "job" until May).
  • Joff
    Personally, I don't buy physical media where online versions are available and the same goes for the rental model. I wouldn't be surprised to see HMV / Zavvi / etc following Blockbuster in the future.
  • MrRobin
    The rental prices are just too expensive when compared to postal services such as Lovefilm. Plus there's the inconvenience of actually having to leave the house to go rent something. Change the pricing structure and get the staff to deliver and you might have a modern business model that works. @Joff: Didn't Zavvi already fold?
  • Klingelton
    i agree fully - the blockbuster model just hasn't evolved - where they did try (blockbuster games) they placed them next door to a gamestation - which are much cheaper anyway. They should market themselves as a cult thing and go back to selling vhs, betamax and associated hardware along with olden days movies on vhs so we can watch them all in their 80's and 90's glory. organise in store movie nights and cease insisting their staff cut and wash their hair. There's only 2 options as i see it. market yourself as a cult product or cease to be.
  • cookie
    As a former employee, I say they deserve to go under! They don't give a crap about their staff (two summers of promising aircon and never delivering) and still use an 80s computer system they shipped over from the US, which is so outdated that it's no wonder people are able to scam them on a regular basis. There's far better services out there, I doubt anyone would be bothered if they went down in this day and age.
  • Mosschops
    Joff> Thats fine if you don't have decent kit - but I have a proper 1080p screen with Dolby-True HD, DTS-MA etc audio formats. The only way for me to watch a film as it should be watched on my kit is on physical media. I have tested downloads and watched online in HD and these films are in "stereo" - the same format as VHS. DVD is pretty old now by technology status but has better sound than a HD-download! I like shiny round things and definately wont switch to online content until they have a proper quality audio format. I think online rental and being able to buy a film from Tesco for £2 with the weekly shopping is what has stopped people going down to Blockbusters rather than online content.
  • bpdunc
    I remember the good old days as a student in Glasgow when you could rent movies and games and buy snacks such as pizza, popcorn, ice cream etc at the same time and have them delivered to you within the hour through - good times.
  • The B.
    One can only assume that "an employee" is a foreign student studying here, surely no British adult at University has such a poor command of English?
  • Morocco
    Useful comment that, Bob. Dick.
  • dados
    well put Morocco,whilst i am by no means a BNP supporter,or a supporter of mass immigration to our shores to overload our ailing benefit & healthcare systems,i do believe this poster is a Dick,but at least he has a job & doesn't warrent arsey comments by pricks like yourself Bob,which rhymes with Knob
  • NellieIrrelevant
    Also note, Real Bob, that joining two sentences with a comma shows an equally poor command of English.
  • JGN
    Mosschops, almost all the hi-def stuff I've got online is in 5.1 dolby digital / DTS etc. You must be downloading of shitty torrent sites or something.
  • gunner
    Lovefilm beats these guys everytime. isn't funny that people start to worry about commas, is it really important? I dunt fink soh...
  • MattWPBS
    Problem for Blockbuster is that the cost of BUYING a DVD has dropped massively, while the cost of renting one hasn't. It's the cost in comparison that's the problem.
  • Klingelton
    people who download need to take the moral high-ground in some things. And so, they choose punctuation, spelling and grammar. Children! Back to Blockbuster - lovefilm is much better. Much larger library and i've never been dissatisfied with their customer service. usually when a company comes along and does a job much better than yourselves, expect the customers to shop elsewhere. Since Blockbuster cannot compete with love films online library - they should consider reshaping their core business rather than grabbing hold of it like a wanker grabbing hold of his gens.
  • NellieIrrelevant
    I don't give a toss about commas personally. I was merely invoking the ancient law of Netiquette that any post picking holes in other people's grammar or spelling will always have at least one howler of its own. Actually Real Bob has a point. The 'employee' can't be a product of the modern British education system, since he clearly knows how to spell and can string a sentence together. O, and about Blockbuster. Boo, shame. I hate buying DVDs, so few of them are worth watching twice.
  • NellieIrrelevant
    Ahem. I hate buying DVDs. So few of them are worth watching twice.
  • spankme
    Blockbuster sold gamestaion to Game some time back... only thing that actually sold well really
  • Commarade
    Ahem. I hate buying DVDs; so few of them are worth watching twice.
  • milky
    Blockbuster is a sad place to go locally, old & tired stores, stained nasty carpets, poor choice of tired movies, ...dvds are cheap to buy now (instead of driving to an out of town unit & back (£5.00 petrol & a muccy d's for the kid) ..then your scratched up copy fails to impress, little interest from staff.. no wonder figures are down, buy a copy of a film you've got it for life (technically) eg £9.99 Zombieland delivered or pay that much to rent for 2-3 nights & have to take it back at an inconvenient moment.
  • The B.
    Oh dear, oh dear, you criticise someone's poor command of the English language and apparent lack of simple spellchecking facilities and the union boys come out of the woodwork. One for all and all for illiteracy, still, good luck getting a job when you graduate if your CV is of the same quality as your post.
  • Morocco
    Nobody's standing in favour of illiteracy, just in opposition to internet grammar Nazis. By the way; "Oh dear, oh dear, you criticise someone’s poor command of the English language and apparent lack of simple spellchecking facilities and the union boys come out of the woodwork."
  • Morocco
    (fragment, consider revising)
  • Commarade
    Nothing wrong with using a splice comma, Real Bob. Just ask Samuel Beckett - although he died in 1989.
  • Sideysid
    Mosschops, 1080p screen with DTS-MA and TrueHD? Methinks this would be why your hearing stereo if you are listening through two televsion speakers that would only be able to output...wait for it....stereo
  • Nobby
    > I hate buying DVDs. So few of them are worth watching twice. Quite a few are not even worth watching once.
  • james d.
    Mosschops, if you mean legal ways of downloading films then you may be correct. If you mean illegal, then this is not true. You can get perfect 1080p downloads with DTS, I do regularly. That's what makes me so mad about the industry. The product I steal is better than the one I can buy, its absurd.
  • Joff
    @MrRobin You're right, my bad. Shows how often I visit the High St...
  • Marquita C.
    If people are getting immigration law troubles in that case it can be best to speak to an immigration solicitor who is definitely qualified to answer an individual's doubts. I would probably advise against getting legal assistance on the net, mainly because this may mean that a person end up getting removed from the land in case the tips acquired appeared to be harmful.

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