Blockbuster stores and mailing services kick it, four stores to close in Minnesota


See what you did, Netflix and Redbox? Times are tough for movie rental shops. The awesome (and local) video store Filmzilla closed earlier this spring. Now, big-box chain Blockbuster will be closing up shop, too. Today, Dish Network Corporation, which Blockbuster is a subsidiary of, announced that Blockbuster will be closing its remaining 300 stores and discontinuing its mailing service.

While you won't be able to shop for a video in-store any longer, Blockbuster isn't completely dead. Dish Network will retain the brand's licensing rights and extensive library, and will continue to offer the company's streaming services as part of its cable packages.

"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," says Joseph P. Clayton, DISH president and chief executive officer.

Blockbuster mailing will cease in December. All stores and distribution centers in the U.S. will close in January 2014. This includes four stores in Minnesota: one in Uptown (2224 Hennepin Ave.), one in Bloomington (8599 Lyndale Ave. S.), one in West St. Paul (1539 S. Robert St.), and one in Rosemount (3852 150th St. W.).

Blockbuster has been in a precarious state the past decade, though it seems to keep coming back from the dead. In September 2010, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy. The billion-dollar company (with over one billion dollars of debt), was purchased by Dish for $320 million. We'll have to see if it turns out to be a good investment, though streaming content from its archives seems like a smart move.