Remember when Blockbuster was the only game in town? When you had to actually physically drive to the video store, roam the isles and rent your movie from a real live, flesh-and-blood teenager?
Well, those days are over, folks.
Today, Blockbuster officially filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to cut is nearly 1 billion dollar debt to a slimmer 100 mil. With this bailout, Blockbuster is hoping to salvage its good name and attempt to step in line with competitors like Netflix, whose easy, door-to-door DVD rentals are the reason Blockbuster is in this pickle to begin with.
The company is in a race against time, said David Pauker, a managing director at turnaround firm Goldin Associates. He said Blockbuster needs to find a new format to stop its business from shrinking (Yahoo! news).
The news of the bankruptcy will no doubt result in many stores closures, but even after all is said and done, the company hopes to have at least 1,500 storefronts left standing. Where, I ask you? Every time I pass a Blockbuster in New York or Los Angeles, it’s going out of business. Maybe they needs to refocus their efforts in smaller towns with older residents, who still consider a trip to video store an “outing.”
Blockbuster opened in 1985, back when people still rocked VHS’s, and DVD’s were just a twinkle in some tech geek’s eye. Do you remember when they ran a credit check on you to even get a membership card? Oh, how times have changed.
It had a pretty long run, though, considering that for the last ten years people have had infinite options on where and how to view movies, whether via their laptops or through super cheap drive – rental paces like Redbox. If Blockbuster wants to stay afloat, it needs to change its analog ways and go faster, cheaper and digital – STAT.
If it can rival Netflix, though – it may have a fighting chance. For nostalgia’s sake, I sure hope so.