Since the Blockbuster auction earlier this year, we were curious to see what Dish Network was going to do with all the stores they ended up with. On the show, we had several speculations, like branding purposes, or that they would keep open a select number of the stores to sell their Dish Network TV service. Call us crazy, but we were hoping they would do something with the $320 million purchase.
Well, some of our predictions came true, as this week, Dish Network and Blockbuster, LLC announced that "despite our efforts to reach reasonable terms, some property owners have closed stores." However, Dish will keep open over 1,500 of the locations and retain 15,000 employees. To compare, when Blockbuster went into bankruptcy, they had around 3,000 stores, and when Dish acquired them they were left with over 1,700.
For more on the story and the press release, click the break.
This announcement comes off the heels of Netflix increasing their prices again, so it seems like Dish is looking to capitalize on some of the customers that may be looking for a new home.
Blockbuster has offered Netflix customers a 30-day trial of either of their two video plans, however neither of them have a streaming option. The plus to the plans though is that the Total Access package does offer movies 28 days before Netflix and can also provide unlimited in-store exchanges on video games, plus, no upcharge for Blu-ray discs. It's almost like a combo on Netflix and Gamefly, minus the streaming.
Can keeping over 1,500 stores open save the company? There's still a long way to go to get back to even a stable position for Blockbuster, when, at its peak was valued at over $5 billion in 2002.
Blockbuster L.L.C. announced today 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.