Blockbuster On The Chopping Block?

Blockbuster is closing hundreds of stores — over 500 this year, on top of 374 last year.  In the most recent quarter the once-swaggering company lost $435 million — on top of a $360 million loss a year ago.

I hadn’t thought about Blockbuster in years — in today’s world there’s Netflix (the old-fashioned mail way, plus its streaming service), Hulu, and 5  new technologies that were announced just last night — but the news made me think about my old (very old) friend on the Post Road.  It shrunk to half its size last year, ceding the east end to a big-and-tall clothing store (not my cup of tea).

I couldn’t imagine Blockbuster’s business model working in Westport anymore.  Particularly when the library offers DVDs for the fairly low price of free.

I called the Westport store.  A chirpy voice answered — a ringing phone was probably the most excitement she’d had all day.

“Blockbuster is shutting lots of stores,” I said.  “Is Westport one of them?”

“We’re fine,” she replied.

“Well, how’s business?” I asked.

“Do you need something?” she countered.

“Like someone else I can talk to there?” I said.  I was thinking like, you know, a manager.

“Like a DVD?” she wondered.

No.  I did not need a DVD.

And I don’t know anyone else in Westport who still needs anything from Blockbuster.

Which is why I’m not sure business really is fine, over at the local “video rental store.”

4 responses to “Blockbuster On The Chopping Block?

  1. Grumpy Old Man

    I go to Blockbuster every day and while I wish they would stock movies that appeal to someone over 16 years of age, I am hooked. I am told by management (that 16 year old behind the counter) that Westport’s Blockbuster is a franchise and they are doing “okay.” The corporate stores are not. So I guess we won’t have another bank in there for awhile.

  2. The Dude Abides

    I agree with Dan, the place is hurting. But I blame Hollywood mostly for putting out the worst dang films in a long time. Too bad they had record profits! The kids are determining the market.

  3. Wendy Crowther

    Uh-oh. I guess I better get in there and use up the money still left on the Blockbuster gift certificate I was given about seven years ago! Blockbuster converted it to a gift card a few years later when I went in to rent one of the only films I’ve ever gotten there.

  4. Not only are the library’s DVDs free, we have an amazing selection and are happy to accomodate requests.