Blockbuster Closing All Its Stores In US; What Will Happen To The Few Stores Left in Latin America?

Blockbuster Closing
How will Blockbuster's US closing affect Latin America? Reuters

Blockbuster announced today that it will be closing the 300 remaining stores it still had across America, the New York Times reports. The company, which was acquired by Dish after Blockbuster went bankrupt in 2011 following dramatic loss in sales with the rise of digital video distributors like Netflix. Mail order services will be discontinued in January 2014, reports CNN. As recently as 2004, the international chain had over 9,000 stores across America and more all over the world. However, the company's slow demise has seen something of a domino effect across Europe and Latin America.

Blockbuster's Latin American contingent was once the strongest video retailers in the area. However, woes began for the company in 2007 when Blockbuster Peru officially closed apparently due to piracy: it was actually cheaper to buy a pirated movie than rent one. In the same year, Blockbuster sold its shares in Brazil to Lojas Americanas for a huge loss. Blockbuster El Salvador followed in 2010 and Blockbuster Argentina in 2011. The only Latin American countries that still have operating Blockbuster stores are Chile and Mexico: Blockbuster Mexico today tweeted that "the USA is independent to the administration in Mexico. In fact we have plans for future store and cinema openings."

Whether Blockbuster Mexico will overcome the problems faced by the US and others in Latin America remains to be seen: Mexico was listed as the top producer of pirated video material by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) in 2010. "This is not an easy decision," Joseph P. Clayton, the chief executive of Dish, said in a statement, "yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment."

 

 

 

What do you think?

Oscar Lopez is a Brooklyn-based writer. Originally from Mexico, Oscar moved with his family to Australia in 2000. Graduating from the University of Melbourne in 2011 with a BA (Honors) Oscar was awarded the Keith Macartney Scholarship for the Arts, the Louise Homfrey Award and the Hannah Barry Memorial Award. As well as reporting for Latin Times, Oscar's writng has been featured in Newsweek, New York Magazine (nymag.com) and Musee Magazine.