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Blockbuster plans to survive

Posted at 29 May 2009 18:49 CET by Jared Newman

Though Blockbuster may be teetering on the brink of collapse, the rental giant is trying a thing or two to get back in business.

Blockbuster has found success recently with its 30 "Rock the Block" stores, Video Business reports. These smaller rental outlets include a beverage center and a greater focus on electronics. They’re mostly located in the Reno, N.V., area, but one version of the store in New York City is pulling in some of the chain’s highest sales per square foot.

The company wants to roll out more of these stores, but its financial situation is putting the idea on ice. Blockbuster is trying to trim debt to meet a refinancing agreement crucial to survival, and interest rates for capital are "significantly" higher than what’s considered normal, CEO Jim Keyes said at a shareholder meeting in Dallas.

As we wrote on Wednesday, Blockbuster is also rolling out a mail-order video game rental service, starting in the Cleveland, Ohio area and expanding nationwide by the end of the year. Keyes said a new marketing campaign will launch on television and online to push gaming rentals.

Finally, the company is working to install 3,000 rental kiosks around the country by year-end. Dubbed "Blockbuster Express," the machines will have twice the capacity of Redbox’s popular movie kiosks and will hold video games as well.

Notably missing from Video Business’ summary is any mention of online streaming. Last I heard, Blockbuster was trying this out on a pay-as-you-go basis, but that’s not as satisfying as Netflix’s unlimited "Instant Watch" feature. With kiosks, mail-order game rentals and funky brick-and-mortar stores in play, it seems Blockbuster has all the other bases covered. When will the company jump on the streaming bandwagon?

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There are 7 comments

CD Freaks Rookie
Posted on: 29 May 09 20:34
    CD Freaks Junior Member
    Posted on: 29 May 09 21:19
      BB has a major drain with all of their brick and mortar stores. So, to want to go to these mini-versions is ludacris. I've already heard that a few stores in my city may be getting the axe, but won't know until it happens. Expanding to get mo0re of the almighty dollar may have been the way some time ago, but now-a-days, it'd be more prudent to work with what you have and improve upon that.
      MyCE Resident
      Posted on: 29 May 09 22:25
        I said as soon as Redbox and the like started appearing that Blockbuster needed to start placing their own kiosks or they were going to be hurting. They could have even had success placing a few kiosks outside their own stores for popular titles. But they would have had to be priced competitively. Last movie I rented there (a month or two ago) cost about $4.50 with tax and I only went there because the Redbox and DVDPlay kiosks I checked didn't have the title I wanted. A B&M store can be an advantage, but it has to have a HUGE inventory at this point. They should have a customer accessible (online even) inventory system that could tell you if they carry a given title, whether it's in stock or rented out currently, and even where in the store to find it. At this point, if the local Blockbuster closes, there's not many places other than kiosks to rent. There's Hollywood Video and another big store place that I can't think of the name of, but it's the only one I've seen.
        MyCE Resident
        Posted on: 29 May 09 23:05
          Netflix is the best solution for many people, including myself
          MyCE Resident
          Posted on: 30 May 09 06:21
            As always, BB raises the "too little too late" management style to an art form.
            Major Malfunction
            CD Freaks Rookie
            Posted on: 31 May 09 11:24
              I'll agree with my brethrens on most of their points.
              Selection is poor and expensive. Maybe with more money BB could get better blockbusters but how since I aimed my consumption to other channels already? Because as, you know, every client is important to them, like family. Could the arm be pulling the rest in the crushing gear? Will the strategic rechanneling of precious shareholder's hard earned monetary resources currently vampirized by low income employees to the profit of Artificial Unintelligent Opinion less Robots save this socially implicated corporate not so giant anymore from the worst? Stay tuned... well, whatever.
              MyCE Resident
              Posted on: 01 Jun 09 14:14
                I haven't been to a Blockbuster in over 2 years now since I found out about Redbox. They are just too overpriced and I don't see them pulling out of this without having to close their brick and mortar stores.

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