26 November 2008

Hypothesizin': Blockbuster?

I went to Blockbuster for the first time in two years. Having little kids makes the convenience Netflix very appealing. But I had to get a movie for my job and so I stopped on my way to work. I found the movie I was after. When I went to check out, I told the cashier (a smart, young girl) that I didn't have my card anymore. She went to pull my account info up, but alas, I had never been to that store. "Aren't all the stores linked together?" I asked with a hint of technical flabergastedness. "Well, some are and some aren't." I followed up, "Are the stores franchises or are they corporate owned?" "We've got both," she said. She did some confusing stuff on her computer, wrote a bunch of stuff on a piece of paper, and a few minutes later I was checked out. I walked out scratching my head. A few observations:

1. Blockbuster is sad. They bet the farm on bricks and mortar. They were king, but they're not anymore...and it's just going to get worse. It's a doomed business.
2. Who's working at Blockbuster?
3. How could their story have been different? They jumped into the "by mail" game too late. Plus, their mailing option membership was too confusing (I actually tried it for a month or two and it hurt my head).
4. What will we do with all these empty Blockbuster locations in 3 years?
5. What businesses/religious institutions/empires feel like Blockbuster circa 1997? How long before they arrive at their proverbial 2008?

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