It’s a business that’s been in its death throes for about a half-decade, or maybe longer — but now, with the news that Blockbuster is planning to close all of its remaining stores by early next year, the demise of the video-store era now seems official.
Sure, some neighborhoods still have a mom-and-pop video store. As one proprietor told us recently, he’s still open — at least for now — because the New York City neighborhood in which he is located has a population of older folks who have not yet gravitated to all the other means now available for obtaining movies and TV shows.
But in most places, the video-store model — in which you go to a store and rent a movie for a couple of days and then return it (like a library but with a fee) — is not sustainable in the era of Netflix and Video On Demand.
Still, we can’t help but be amazed at the demise of this huge business, which was once the primary means for obtaining home-entertainment for millions upon millions of people in the heyday of the neighborhood video store.
As Kristen Dahlgren reported in her “NBC Nightly News” story this past week about the Blockbuster closings, the home-video giant had 9,000 stores and collected $5.9 billion in revenue as recently as 2004. Since then, though, it’s been all downhill for a business that played a central role in all of our lives for close to 20 years.
Watch the story, above.