After opening in 1985, Blockbuster quickly became an iconic company and, at its peak, boasted close to 60,000 employees. Those, however, were its halcyon days, and though it remained viable throughout the early 2000’s, the video rental outfit went bankrupt in September 2010, and was acquired by Dish Network in April of 2011.
Now, according to Gaurdian, the woes continue as Blockbuster UK has gone into administration and has called in Deloitte, a specialist firm, to shepherd it through the process. Administration is a rescue mechanism, meant to provide insolvent companies with an alternative to liquidation; not exactly the hallmark of a thriving company.
Deloitte has released a statement, in which it claims it will honor gift cards and credit accrued via Blockbuster’s trade-in program. That should help diffuse any vitriol from former customers, but ex-employees could still suffer. The chain’s collapse directly imperils 528 stores and 4,190 jobs. For now, it’s business as usual, but Deloitte’s essential task is to gussy up the ailing company enough that it attracts potential buyers.
It seems Dish Network – which has been in the news itself lately – has had precious little success with its acquisition. After trying and failing to sell Blockbuster, the company was recently forced to abandoned an attempt to position it as a competitor to Netflix.
This story is already being colored as further confirmation of the internet’s dominance of modern industry, and it appears to be a valid assessment of the situation. In this day and age, there’s nary a niche available for a company that doesn’t fully embrace modern technology.