Dish will reduce its number of Blockbuster stores nationwide to about 500, closing about 300 stores in the coming weeks. Some 3,000 employees will lose their jobs, Dish spokesman John Hall told The Denver Post. This adds to the 500 or so stores Dish shuttered last year.
The closures, which cover underperforming outlets or those that are nearing the end of their leases, will leave 500 Blockbuster stores in the US. Dish “continues to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we continue to analyze the store-level profitability as we have in the past,” Hall told the paper.
Dish acquired the video-rental chain out of bankruptcy for $320 million in 2011. Netflix and other digital alternatives have pushed Blockbuster’s brick-and-mortar stores to the brink of death. Blockbuster Online has been the company’s strategy against those losses, with limited results.
The locations of the stores that will close in the coming weeks have not been announced, Hall said: “Really, from the time of acquisition there has been a strategy to evaluate stores on a case-by-case basis in an effort to look at their production.”
Dish has been contemplating selling smartphones and wireless service at Blockbuster stores as it prepares to enter the mobile-broadband business.
“We’re still evaluating that,” Dish CEO Joe Clayton said in an interview at CES this month. “We’ve looked at possible fixturing, how it would be done, who would our partners be, but nothing has been done yet. It’s still in exploratory phase.”