It’s strange to see a one giant and seemingly unstoppable chain like Blockbuster in such bad shape, but it seems brick-and-mortar is on the way out. After purchasing Blockbuster last year, Dish has been working to make the brand into something of its former self, but it seems the future of Blockbuster is not in traditional retail. 500 of the existing 1,500 stores will be closing in the first half of 2012. Execs say that these are specifically underperforming locations, but it’s a clear sign of things to come.
On a brighter note, Dish says that Blockbuster stores have performed as expected, neither gaining nor losing a significant amount of money. CEO Joe Clayton sees Blockbuster’s future as one that exists in another realm entirely – digital distribution seems most likely, especially after the recent deal made between Blockbuster and Samsung in Australia and the success of Blockbuster @Home. Retail locations may be on their way out, but Clayton says Blockbuster is an essential part of the current Dish business.