ENGLEWOOD, CO — Blockbuster, the struggling movie rental chain, is finally closing for good, announced DISH Network on Wednesday, November 6.
A statement released by DISH Network confirms that it will shut down the chain and all of its operations.
The remaining 300 stores in the United States will be shuttered by January 2014. Distribution centers will also be shut down. The Blockbuster By Mail service will end in December, though current customers will still be able to use it until then.
“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” said DISH president and CEO Joseph P. Clayton in the statement. “Despite out 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 Network intends to continue operations on its Blockbuster @Home service for its DISH customers, as well as Blockbuster On Demand for the general market.
The company began in 1985, and did see incredible success and growth in the 1990s. Blockbuster was purchased by Viacom in 1994, but the company managed to separate from its parent in 2004.
The 2000s marked a downward trend for the chain as it had to adjust its business in the shadow of other growing competitors, especially Netflix. Ventures to expand against Netflix included Blockbuster Online, which launched in 2004. Once Redbox threatened Blockbuster as well, the chain began Blockbuster Express in 2009, using similar rental kiosks.
Following delisting from the New York Stock Exchange in July 2010 and filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2010, Blockbuster was subsequently purchased by DISH Network in April 2011 to the tune of $320 million.
Since then, Blockbuster has seen more closing of its stores every year, including as recently as January 2013, where 300 stores had to be shut down.