Dish Network plans to shutter 500 Blockbuster stores across the US within the next six months. The move would leave approximately 1,000 Blockbuster stores, with about 150 of those selling Dish services.
“We are closing 500 stores that are not performing well, that were primarily unprofitable,” Marc Lumpkin, spokesman for Dish, told The Denver Post. However, he added that the number of Blockbuster stores offering Dish services will expand.
Last July, we reported DISH had originally said they would keep about 600 Blockbuster stores open. However, Blockbuster announced 7/22/11 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 aNew Yorkbankruptcy court this week. So this move appears to be somewhere in the middle of what was expected.
Dish acquired the video-rental chain out of bankruptcy in late April 2011. In its earnings report Thursday, Dish said its net subscribers decreased by about 166,000 in 2011. However, the company said it gained 22,000 net subscribers during Q4, giving it about 13.96 million subscribers at year’s end.
“Dish delivered a quarter and a year of strong growth in net income and total revenue compared to the same period last year,” said Joe Clayton, Dish CEO. “By introducing new Blockbuster-branded services, we’ve begun to turn the tide in subscriber losses while continuing to face increased competitive pressure.”
RBR-TVBR observation: As we said in July and before that, these retail outlets could add Dish customer service and POP displays in the stores to gain more business. Obviously, that is what has happened and is probably playing a factor in which stores DISH is keeping open.