Blockbuster throws in the towel

The DVD-rental chain will close down its remaining US stores and curtail its DVD-by-mail rental service.

Blockbuster

Blockbuster has admitted defeat in the DVD-rental business.

Parent company Dish announced Wednesday that it will shut down all remaining company-owned Blockbuster stores in the United States by early January 2014. The closure will affect around 300 remaining retail outlets as well as the company's distribution centers.

The Blockbuster By Mail service will be cut off in mid-December. Only franchised and licensed stores in the US and abroad will keep their doors open.

Hurt by the rising popularity of Netflix and similar online services, Blockbuster saw its retail profits dwindle over the past few years. In January, Dish revealed plans to close 300 Blockbuster stores , according to Reuters, but at the time said it had no plans to shut down the entire business.

"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," Dish President and CEO Joseph Clayton said in a statement. "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."

Going forward, Dish said it will focus on its Blockbuster On Demand streaming-video service and its Blockbuster Home service for Dish customers.

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About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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