It’s been a rough few years for Blockbuster. So rough in fact, that they’ve announced the closing of nine hundred and sixty retail stores across the US.
685 of those stores will be closed by year’s end, with the remaining 275 shutting down in 2010. According to their SEC filing, Blockbuster is ready to shut down up to 1,500 locations should the need arise. Clearly, Blockbuster is losing ground in the brick and mortar space, but they have a plan to rejuvenate their company, a plan inspired by their biggest competition.
Adding to the 497 current Blockbuster Express rental kiosks already deployed, the company plans to open an additional 2,000 by the year’s end. By 2010, Blockbuster hopes to have 10,000 rental kiosks in locations across the country.
That still puts them at around half of Red Boxes current install base, but Blockbuster seems to be hinting towards some major retailer support. Additionally, existing Movie Cube rental kiosks will be converted into Blockbuster Express kiosks thanks the acquisition of competing kiosk company The New Release.
Blockbuster also hopes to capitalize on their Total Access and On Demand services, which have a high profit margin and little upfront cost. Interestingly, while Netflix is listed as a competitor for Blockbuster’s Total Access movies by mail service, the name is absent from the competition list for Blockbuster On Demand.