Blockbuster to sell swag

Movie-related merchandise bound for store shelves

Blockbuster's revival plan includes selling sunglasses.

The nation's top renter of DVDs said Thursday that it's getting serious about branching out into new territory, and that anything movie-related is fair game.

Therefore, expect to start seeing replicas of the sunglasses Tom Cruise wore in "Top Gun" and that Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith wore in "Men in Black" on Blockbuster shelves.

The sunglasses and a slew of other items are part of Blockbuster's push into stocking its stores with merchandise it sells on consignment, thus negating its need to shell out large amounts of capital.

Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes talked up the plan at the company's annual shareholder meeting in Dallas on Thursday.

The company has struggled to remain relevant amid competition from Netflix, Redbox and numerous VOD options, but Keyes noted that Blockbuster not only has DVD-by-mail, kiosks and Internet-delivered VOD, but also its brick-and-mortar stores.

Granted, some analysts see the stores as more hindrance than help, but Keyes called them "strong points of differentiation."

Wall Street isn't convinced, and shares of Blockbuster have sunk 90% in less than two years, closing at 71 cents on Thursday.

But the CEO also said that upgrades wherein various stores would be focused on certain themes -- an effort the company called "Rock the Block" -- were being discontinued for now.

Keyes also said that 5%-6% of the company's DVD rentals are Blu-ray Disc and that Blockbuster's by-mail service is profitable.

Outsourcing and other initiatives, he said, have saved the company about $100 million year-over-year. "We went back to fundamentals," he said.

Shareholders also voted to reelect Blockbuster's nine board members, including Carl Icahn, Strauss Zelnick and Edward Bleier.
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