Rumor has it Blockbuster may be closing down...

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Unspeaked, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. macrumors 68020


    Dec 29, 2003
    West Coast

    I think the spokesman's denial is about the surest sign there is that they're in deep trouble ;)
  2. macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2007
    Washington D.C. Area
    Just switched to Netflix and loving it. Blockbuster's days are numbered!
  3. macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    Blockbuster never reinvented itself when online movies became popular and Netflix came along. It used to be fun to roam the isles of VHS to find a movie. How many people still go to blockbuster?
  4. thread starter macrumors 68020


    Dec 29, 2003
    West Coast
    Yeah, it's kind of ironic that one of the big moves they were seriously considering last year to help reinvest themselves was a purchase of Circuit City (back before it was teetering on bankruptcy itself).

    Wonder how that would have turned out...?

  5. macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
    I haven't been there in ages, Family Video is where I go.
  6. macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2008
    i had two blockbuster locations near me since i was a kid. one closed down last week. what a shame..
  7. macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    May 15, 2007
    I'm where I need to be
    I think Blockbuster very well could go under, if they don't "reinvent" themselves. Perhaps many video stores will be going under in the future. Although I suppose thats been predicted quite often of the last year or two.

    Personally when I was living in the states, for the last two years I never rented from a video store. I either bought or rented movies from iTunes. As for DVDs, most I know are using netflix. Down here in NZ I'm using the video store ALL the time. I'd use iTunes if my internet wasn't limited to 10GB of data per month. :(
  8. macrumors 68000


    Aug 25, 2007
    Bankruptcy does not necessarily mean they will go out of business entirely, they stated today they have enough cash to last year. The could reorganize change their business model, have fewer stores etc. etc. and still be around.

    Maybe they should get some servers and offer up download able content, in addition to the stores and movies by mail. Maybe they need a social media site kind of like imdb. Perhaps they need to offer other entertainment products, expand their gaming real estate etc.

    Actually here is another idea for them free of charge, Change locations to smaller stores in higher traffic areas instead of only strip malls. Add a refreshments stand similar to one found at various movies, serve a huge menu of movie related junk food from hot dogs, corn dogs, popcorn and raisinettes ( and ice cream etc). Sell all of this at good profit margins but at recession prices. Use the traffic to sell more DVD's and attract people to your online properties.
  9. thread starter macrumors 68020


    Dec 29, 2003
    West Coast
    They have $35million in cash. You can win that on some state's scratch-off lottery tickets. I don't think it's going to last them the rest of '09, especially with the economy the way it is.

    That being said, even if it did last them, I think it would just be delaying the inevitable. The time of the video rental store has come and gone. And there's not much I can see them reinventing themselves as - most of their natural branch-offs are already being handled by someone else (for example, they just started game rentals, which GameFly has a pretty good hold on).

    I also think this is a preview of what's going to happen to Netflix (thanks in no small part to iTunes) if they don't ramp up their online streamable content.

    How long before getting a DVD in the mail is just as out-dated as picking up a VHS movie at a video store?
  10. macrumors 68000


    Aug 25, 2007
    Call me old fashioned but i refuse to believe all retail is going the way of the dodo. We'll have a world with just amazons and massive walmarts? I believe people still want to go out and physically buy something, and browse a bit.

    The downloads vs DVD argument is a good one, but that is going to be a pretty slow phase out IMHO, there is still a massive amount of the populace that has not the interest, patience or skill to download content.
  11. macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2004
    Missouri, USA
    Same here. The blockbuster here in town are very rude. Family video is freakin' sweet. 2 for 1 rentals, cheap new releases, very friendly staff.

    I haven't been in a while because of using netflix.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 18, 2008
    They have been saying this for a while now. I know in Canada they thought they were closing two years ago.
  13. thread starter macrumors 68020


    Dec 29, 2003
    West Coast
    I totally agree with this. There's some things especially that will just never be the same online as they are in person, and a retail market for those will always exist.

    Still, I think content delivery is simply not one of those things. As you say yourself, it's just a matter of how quickly (or slowly) it goes away. At some point, that massive amount of populace will dwindle into a small group that just won't have a say any longer.
  14. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    As long as it IS a debt restructuring specialist, it means they are working to keep the company going.

    Unlike Circuit City and CompUSA who brought in bankruptcy liquidation specialists long before they announced liquidation proceedings.

    Even if they are a debt restructuring company, it doesn't mean they won't file bankruptcy, since it would likely be a debt restructuring ploy -- just means they won't file for liquidation immediately. Might at least attempt to save the company or sell it first.
  15. macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden
    RedBox has completely taken over here. It's a shame because you can't get older movies from them. Luckily, the libraries around here have several years worth of old movies on their shelves...

    Netflix, iPhone, and Twitter... three recent(ish) fads that don't interest me in the slightest...
  16. macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location
    I enjoy browsing the video stores, and don't understand the fun of going to Netflix or anything of the sort.

    I think I'll always rent from a store.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2006
    •Do you remember the times when we used to go to a place to rent a movie?

    -yes I do! and most of the times the title wasn't available or they had 30 copies of the movie no one wanted to see anymore.

    •Yes, you used to spend hours looking for something and nothing.

    -yes, and then if you forgot to return the movie you had to pay those late fees.

    •Or probably the movie was in bad shape or had something recorded on it at the end.

    -yes, yes, what crazy times. Now you can get the movie in better resolution without going out and cheaper.

    •yeap! we had our hard time in the past, renting movies, no cell phones, no internet, no nothing... and we were all happy still!:D
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2003
    Dumped BB for Netflix. I believe it's only a matter of time before BB is finished. It's circling the drain.
  19. macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    I think the last time I was ever in one was around 1998 or so to rent some tapes. Didn't get a DVD player till the next year I think.

    That was also the last time I ever rented a movie. I've bought several since but now that iTunes has movies, I just buy them.
  20. macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    San Jose (CA)
    I went to Blockbuster once, and they charged me a late fee for a movie I returned on time. I told myself they would fall one day…
  21. macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    When they offer subtitles/captions on movies :p

    Granted, this is slowly starting to happen with Hulu (bravo Hulu!) and to a lesser (and regressing!) extent, iTunes (boo! You suck!)
  22. macrumors 65816


    Dec 16, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    Oddly enough, the local Blockbuster here has just revamped their store and added some 15,000 titles to their library, so said all the signs they had up the last time I was in there. I wouldn't have gone in except my stepbrother gave me a BB gift card for Christmas that I had forgotten about until last week, according to their records I hadn't been in since 2001.
  23. macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    The way I've seen them do business, I figure it's only a matter of time.

    All experiences refer to stores in Canada, so YMMV.

    First, their prices are completely unrealistic. If Future Shop, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, etc. sell a movie for, say, $23.99, then I expect that's what it will cost (give or take a dollar or two maybe). To therefore see it priced at $29.99 at Blockbuster is just laughable.

    So I wouldn't buy new movies from BBV unless I was desperate.

    What I do often at BBV is buy previously-viewed DVDs. These are typically priced between $6.99 and $19.99. HOWEVER, I will NOT pay those prices because I know they have frequent sales -- buy 2, get 1 free, or buy 2/3/4 for $20, or buy 5 get 50% off, etc.

    So I wouldn't buy used movies from BBV until the right sale comes along, because I know I can pay less. Furthermore, I can't count the number of times the deal was "buy 4 for $20" and I'm standing there with 3 good movies looking for a 4th to complete the deal; finding none, I figure I'll wait another week or two until the selection changes and try again, so I walk out with nothing.

    Next, rental prices are out of line. It's $5.99 or more for a new release DVD or Blu-Ray. For that price I can wait a few weeks and buy the movie as previously-viewed (waiting for the right sale, of course). And, since my local BBV offers to buy-back used videos and gives a minimum $5 trade-in credit for them, I can buy the aforementioned 4-for-$20 deal, watch them, trade them in again, and end up paying nothing!

    Plus a lot of other shops offer cheaper rentals -- my local "Superstore" grocery chain offers them for $1.99 a night.

    So I wouldn't rent from them except in very occasional instances (parties, rented video games).

    Ways that I think Blockbuster could do better:
    - offer realistic pricing on new DVDs. I'm willing to pay a $1-$2 premium over driving out to Best Buy or Wal-Mart, but not $5-10 more. Yeah, you'll make less per unit but sales volume should go up when people figure you're as competitive as the next guy.
    - lower prices on rentals. You're competing with $1.99 rentals in grocery stories and indie shops, as well as as your own trade-in and previously-viewed services. Since video pricing has moved to "sell through pricing" ever since DVDs were introduced (as opposed to the old days where a VHS movie would cost $100 for the first few months of release), you make your money back a lot faster anyway. At $2, I'll rent in the bat of an eye. At $6, I seriously think about waiting to buy the title.
    - everyday low prices on previously-viewed movies, or discounts based on per-title (30% off) or at most blocks of 2 (buy 1 get 1 free).
    - look into online services like Netflix.
  24. thread starter macrumors 68020


    Dec 29, 2003
    West Coast
    Does Blockbuster not offer their online rental service in Canada?
  25. macrumors 68000


    I, for one, think Blockbuster is great. The problem with mail order rental (like Netflix and Blockbuster's mail order) is that it is too slow. Digital download rentals are way too slow, as well. Plus, you can't browse movies online (that you don't know already exist), very it on Netflix, iTunes, Blockbuster online or whatever other option there is. I've tried Netflix and am currently a member of Blockbuster Online. I often find myself going to Blockbuster just to figure out what to add to my queue (I did that with Netflix too).

    There is nothing comparable to walking into a rental store and being able to browse the aisles and pick up a movie instantaneously....or see new, strange, independent, unknown or sleeper movies that you never heard of on the shelves....and would otherwise not easily find by browsing on Netflix or Blockbuster Online. Digital download rentals are even worse since they are typically not can't just pop the file into a number of different dvd or Blu-ray players to watch on different tv's. You are typically just tied to one computer. I, for one, frequently rent a movie, watch it, then give it to one of my family members to watch before returning it.

    I'm a member of Blockbuster's mail service (it's just like Netflix, only better). You get movies in the mail, just like Netflix, but you can also choose to return the movie at a store and exchange it for any movie, right there at the store....and you still get another movie, from your queue, in the mail. Blockbuster also has online rentals....where you can download movies. I don't do this for the lack of flexibility and speed that I mentioned above.

    Blockbuster should continue to stay in business, if not, actually thrive. This is because Blockbuster is the only company that offers all the options...A physical store that you can browse and get movies instantaneously, mail order rentals and digital download rentals. They have made some bad business decisions in the past and were initially slow to adapt. But they have everything now. They must survive....and I'm confident that they will. Heck, for many people, Blockbuster is their only rental option. If blockbuster went out of business, they would no longer be able to rent movies.

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