Blockbuster’s scene ends

Blockbuster is closing its remaining 300 stores in the U.S.

It used to be in decades past that video stores were packed on weekends with consumers looking to find a flick to watch from the comfort of their own couch. However, the popularity of Netflix, Hulu and other digital outlets has greatly changed the act of renting a movie to watch at home in recent years.

One of the industry's most ubiquitous stores – Blockbuster – announced Nov. 6 that it would be closing its remaining 300 stores in the U.S., as well as its distribution centers. DISH Network bought the chain in 2011 and aimed to keep up with digital competitors, but its retail business struggled, to say the least.

Empty stores
When DISH Network bought Blockbuster, there were 1,700 stores around the country, which is more than 7,000 fewer than its peak in 2004, when it had 9,000 stores and 60,000 employees.

Much of this decline is attributed to the invention of the DVD and illegal downloads. DVDs were compact and lightweight, meaning competitors like RedBox and Netflix could ship videos for much cheaper than clunky VHS tapes. And when Hulu was launched in 2007, The Billfold said that the industry was forever changed because "your average Joe and Josephine were introduced to Cloud Media."

Though there are just 300 Blockbuster stores left to close, that's ample real estate that will be vacant once the closures are complete. In addition, because of the economic collapse, some stores that were closed in 2011 – when the company shuttered hundreds of locations – may still not be in use.

These closures could negatively affect markets around the country if other retailers are reluctant to come in and take their place. 

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