The Blockbuster Story
In 1985, Blockbuster opened its first video rental retail store in Dallas, Texas. By the mid-1990s, Blockbuster was a household name, and at its peak, the company had over 60,000 employees, 9,000 stores and branches in more than a dozen countries. Then came the Internet and Blockbuster’s inability to respond to the trend it created. Amazon had just entered the market, expanding from selling cheap books online to cheap DVDs, and a little company called Netflix rolled out a subscription service. It wasn’t until 2004, six years after Netflix launched, that Blockbuster realized it needed to enter the online DVD rental-by-mail space. By then, Netflix was already turning a profit and Redbox had just launched. Blockbuster was already dead—it just didn’t realize it yet. With the rise of Netflix, mail-order DVDs, video-on-demand and streaming services online, the former video giant didn’t stand a chance. Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010, and was purchased by DISH Network in 2011.
A story of fundamental change that makes a point with a bang.