Blockbuster To Shutter 300 Stores In The US, Mail Service Ending This December

Blockbuster Video, which was once the largest and most powerful video rental chain in the United States, is reportedly closing a significant number of its brick-and-mortar stores.

In addition shuttering the remainder of its stores, DISH Network is closing down its Blockbuster By Mail service. According to the folks at Coming Soon, existing customers will continue to receive movies until mid-December.

As for the physical stores, Blockbuster will close 300 stores across North America in early January. Distribution centers are currently expected to close up during that time period as well.

DISH Network’s Joseph Clayton said in a statement:

“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment. Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business, we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings.”

The Chicago Tribune reports that 50 stores owned by franchises aren’t affected by the closure. The statement released by DISH Network claims that the company will continue to support “domestic and international franchise operations, relationships, and agreements.”

Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy back in September of 2010. A year later, DISH Network purchased the failing video rental company at auction for approximately $320 million. The satellite TV provider hoped to use Blockbuster to compete with the likes of Netflix.

According to The Huffington Post, DISH will retain the rights to the Blockbuster brand. This includes the company’s catalog of movies and television programs. For the time being, DISH intends to focus its strengths on Blockbuster @Home and Blockbuster On Demand.

Instead of offering a subscription service on par with the likes of Netflix and Hulu Plus, Blockbuster On Demand only bills customers for the films they rent. The company currently offers old and new titles to customers, with each rental priced at roughly $2.99. This aspect of the Blockbuster brand isn’t affected by the recent announcement.

Curious to see what a handful of chatty folks on Twitter thought about the upcoming closures? Check out some snarky comments on the subject below.

Are you surprised that DISH Network is shuttering the remainder of its Blockbuster stores?

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]