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Blockbuster goes bust

Posted: November 7, 2013 12:29 p.m.
Updated: November 7, 2013 12:29 p.m.

The storefront of the Blockbuster video store in Saugus. Kirsten Quinn/The Signal

 

Dish Network said on Wednesday that it is closing all remaining Blockbuster video stores.

The video retailer has only one store left in Santa Clarita on Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus.

Dish said that it expects to close the 300 U.S.-based retail stores by early January 2014.

The retailer’s mail service will cease operations by mid-December.

Blockbuster will lay off as many as 2,800 employees, according to Reuters.

"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," said Joseph P. Clayton, DISH president and chief executive officer in a statement.

Dish bought the Blockbuster video rental chain out of bankruptcy in 2011, paying $320 million.

The video brick and mortar chain stores, founded in 1985, had seen increasing competition from Netflix, online retailers like Amazon and no-overhead vending machines like Redbox.

But the retailer failed to meet challengers head-on and continued closing stores – contrary to the original plans when Dish first purchased the chain.

By January of this year, Dish began closing hundreds of Blockbuster stores across the country and laying off some 3,000 employees.

"Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business, we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings," Clayton said.

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