Blockbuster? We knew it was dying, courtesy Redbox, Netflix and the changing ways people consume their entertainment, but when will it finally expire? Probably next year, according to one analyst and the company’s own balance sheet.
It’s a balance sheet that’s continually losing money, with the latest blow coming last quarter, when Blockbuster bled $US65 million, reported 24/7 Wall St analyst Douglas A. McIntyre. Life’s become so dire, in fact, that Blockbuster is mulling Chapter 11 to eliminate debt.
While the remaining 6000 stores is nothing to sneeze at (my late hometown one not amongst them), there is precedence for massive, simultaneous closures in rival Movie Gallery. That company had 2400 stores, you see, and it shuttered them all back in February.
Ending on a positive note, the company could have a Redbox/Netflix hybrid future with its existing supermarket kiosks and mail service. So here’s hoping that happens, some people can keep their jobs, and Blockbuster’s predicted “demise” in 2011 is merely a metamorphosis into something a bit leaner and meaner. Competition is good, and all that.
Update: Reader Josh writes in with an additional bit of depressing news for Blockbuster:
[W] hen considering the future of Blockbuster kiosks, Blockbuster doesn’t actually own any of kiosks. NCR owns and operates all of them. Blockbuster just gets a small licensing royalty for them. So, Blockbuster definitely doesn’t have a chance at sustaining itself on those kiosks.