Dish Network will now keep 1,500 Blockbuster stores open


DISH had originally said they would keep about 600 Blockbuster stores open in a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York. However, Blockbuster announced 7/22 it has assumed contracts with property owners nationwide and will maintain operations of more than 1,500 U.S. Blockbuster stores that would have closed under liquidation, as approved in a New York bankruptcy court this week. Blockbuster also will retain more than 15,000 store employees.

“We’re pleased that we will continue to operate more than 90 percent of the stores that were offered at auction in April,” said Michael Kelly, president of Blockbuster. “By lowering pricing and offering competitive summer promotions, we’ve brought millions of customers back into Blockbuster stores in the last three months to experience the best in convenience, choice and value. Today, more than 100 million people live near a Blockbuster store.”

Unfortunately, despite our efforts to reach reasonable terms, some property owners have closed stores,” Kelly added. “However, we’ll continue to look for opportunities for physical distribution in these neighborhoods as we expand our in-store experience, unmatched for movies and family entertainment.”

Blockbuster recently rolled out an improved Blockbuster Total Access package, which provides benefits Netflix doesn’t offer: availability of many new releases 28 days before Netflix; unlimited in-store exchanges; games for XBOX 360, Playstation3, and Nintendo Wii, and no additional charge for Blu-ray movies.

Before Dallas-based Blockbuster was sold in April, it had trimmed its U.S. store count to 1,726 stores.

RBR-TVBR observation: As we had mentioned, these retail outlets could add Dish customer service and POP displays in the stores to gain more business. Obviously, the gaming portion is also a strong part of the reason behind the reason to keep more stores open. Perhaps another offering will on the plate (DISH) for customers soon as well–maybe a marketing partnership with another company.