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What’s left of Blockbuster’s company-owned storefronts in the United States will be shuttered by early 2014.
On Wednesday, Dish Network said that the formerly dominant video rental retailer will close its roughly 300 stores and distribution centers and end its DVD-by-mail service. The company said that franchised stores will stay open.
“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” said Joseph P. Clayton, Dish president and CEO. “Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business, we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings.”
Dish, which acquired Blockbuster in 2011 with a $320 million auction bid, said that the brand will continue. Digital products include its streaming service Blockbuster On Demand and Blockbuster @Home TV package.
At the time of the Dish acquisition, more than 1,700 retail stores were operating in the United States, but competition from streaming services like Hulu and Netflix had eroded Blockbuster’s business substantially. In 2010, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy.
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Tracee Ellis Ross