Dish Network, the parent company of Blockbuster, announced today that all 300 company-owned retail locations will close throughout the United States due to consumer preference for streaming media services. The DVD distribution-by-mail service offered by the once-ubiquitous video rental chain will also be discontinued by January, 2014. All physical distribution centers will also be closed.
Blockbuster franchised and licensed stores in the U.S. and overseas will remain in business, according to Dish.
“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” said Joseph P. Clayton, DISH president and chief executive officer. “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.”
The announcement of the closing comes ahead of a scheduled November 12 conference call by Dish Network to discuss third quarter 2013 financial results. The company will continue to retain its intellectual property and video library and will seek to expand on-line, on-demand streaming offerings, they said.
Netflix and Amazon are two of the largest providers of streaming media in the U.S. The respective closing stock price for both companies seem unaffected by the news of Blockbuster’s demise.