Victim of Change: Blockbuster Inc.

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2011 at 9:14 pm

The Blockbuster store near my house closed this week. It wasn’t a complete surprise – I knew it was coming. We’d all heard the talk about the death of the video store. The parent company filed for bankruptcy in September of last year. Still it was something to see the empty shelves and ‘for lease’ sign. The end of an era I thought. I have fond memories of the time I’ve enjoyed over the years at the video store.

I think the learning lesson here is that all businesses and industries have a finite life. Whether it’s newspapers or Yoga wear, everything comes to an end. In the case of Blockbuster, it didn’t make it much past age 25. The company was started in 1985 and grew through the 1980s as consumers adopted home VHS machines and Nintendo game systems.  The company grew rapidly through organic growth and acquisitions. It had worldwide operations including in the United States, Canada and the UK.

In the recent decade, the Internet facilitated superior alternatives to the video rental business. Consumers could rent movies online through Netflix and Itunes, watch them through video-on-demand or download them for free. This made the video store an inconvenient and outdated option. A clip from parody news website, The Onion, sums it up.

I hope shareholders managed to get some dividend payments when the going was good.


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