Digital media has claimed yet another brick-and-mortar victim, as Blockbuster yesterday said it will close its remaining 300 or so stores around the country.
Just nine years ago the video rental giant dominated the market with its more than 9,000 stores countrywide, but as of next January it will rent out its final video. The announcement is white flag waved at Netflix, iTunes, Amazon and other online services that let users stream media to their computers and TVs, an industry that decimated video stores.
"This is not an easy decision," Joseph Clayton, the chief executive of Dish, which owns Blockbuster, said in a statement. "Consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment."
Still, around 50 retail stores are owned by third-party franchisees, and those are unaffected by the announcement, The New York Times reported.
Though there are no remaining Blockbusters in New York - the nearest stores are in New Jersey - the city still has a handful of video retail stores weathering the assault from streaming media, including Videology, Video Free Brooklyn, We Deliver Videos, Two Boots Video and more.
Kim's Video, perhaps the city's most revered rental store, famously closed up shop in 2009 after more than 20 years.