The sun is setting on what was once a booming retail industry in the United States. Here’s the details…
If you owe Blockbuster a video, you’ll have to drive to Oregon to return it, because come Monday, there will be one remaining Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon.
Here’s the last remaining Blockbuster storefront:
It doesn’t exactly look like business is booming there, but who knows?
Maybe it will become some sort of Mecca for a bygone era?
Or maybe it will quietly fade into the sunset, you know, Clint Eastwood style.
No matter what happens, the music has stopped, and Oregon got the last char.
Here’s more from Gizmodo:
The last two Blockbuster stores in Alaska are shutting their doors for good next week according to the Anchorage Daily News, which means there is just one remaining relic of the video rental giant still up and operating in the entire United States.
The final Blockbuster storefront standing is located in Bend, Oregon. It outlasted two stores in Alaska—one in the city of Anchorage and one in Fairbanks—that will officially close up shop on Monday, July 16th despite John Oliver’s attempts to keep them alive by sending the stores memorabilia from Russell Crowe movies.
When the last two stores in Alaska officially lock up next week, it will mark the end of a quirky final act for the forgotten video rental chain. Though parent company Dish Network started shuttering storefronts around the US in 2013, Blockbuster managed to maintain a stronghold in Alaska, driven primarily by long winters and pricy, occasionally unreliable internet connections, per the Washington Post. According to data from HighSpeedInternet.com, Alaska is third-to-last in internet connectivity in the US, and just 62 percent of its population has access to what would be considered broadband speed connections of 25Mbps.
Anchorage Daily News reported that 13 Blockbuster stores were operating in 13, and nine were still open in 2016—far from the company’s peak of 9,000, but it’s something. The stores in Anchorage and Fairbanks were the final holdouts, and the owners told Deadline the stores were still profitable, but their closure was all be inevitable eventually.
John Oliver highlighted the stores on Last Week Tonight earlier this year when he bought up a bunch of movie artifacts that Russell Crowe ditched in a post-divorce auction, including a leather jockstrap from the filmCinderella Man and sent it to the Alaska Blockbuster stores. Somehow, it seems that wasn’t enough to save them.
When we hear talk about the Retail Apocalypse, mainstream analysts are quick, to say, that’s because shopping has moved to online.
We know that is not true for the vast majority of shopping.
But when it comes to video and media consumption, it is definitely true.
First it was Netflix with online ordering of DVD rentals sent through the mail, then there are the Red Boxes, and if those forms of obtaining physical digital media weren’t part of the writing on the wall for video rental businesses, then became online streaming.
Nowadays people can watch all sorts of videos, often time for free, through many online channels, and on everything from computers to tablets to smartphones.
So here we have one example where online retail, downloading and streaming has directly affected an entire industry.
– Half Dollar
About the Author
U.S. Army Iraq War Combat Veteran Paul “Half Dollar” Eberhart has an AS in Information Systems and Security from Western Technical College and a BA in Spanish from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Paul dived into gold & silver in 2009 as a natural progression from the prepper community. He is self-studied in the field of economics, an active amateur trader, and a Silver Bug at heart.