Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Dallas Texas, Blockbuster Inc. is one of the top rental/retail providers of movies, video game and media entertainment in the world. Its competitors include Amazon Video on Demand, Netflix and Hastings Entertainment Inc. The company also competes with a variety of cable providers’ video-on-demand services. Blockbuster Inc. operates and franchises trademarked storefronts and vending kiosks.At last count, the company had over 8,000 stores located in the United States, its territories and in seventeen foreign countries.
It is recognized in the US under the “Blockbuster” brand name, but also operates under the brand “Game Rush” in locations such as Canada, Italy, Mexico and Denmark. The company’s mission is to “provide [its] customers with the most convenient access to media entertainment, including movie and game entertainment delivered through multiple distribution channels”.Although it offers its services primarily through traditional retail outlets, the company (with its subsidiaries) manages an online service that provides its customers with video rentals/purchases that can be delivered digitally to computers and other affiliated internet-connected devices. In order to make its widespread digital delivery system possible, Blockbuster has formed strategic alliances with Motorola, T-Mobile, Suddenlink, Vizio, Samsung and TiVo. Additionally, Blockbuster offers its customers the opportunity to sell-back or trade their DVD movies and video games.In response to the many changes the video rental market has experienced, Blockbuster has had to adapt its strategy in order to remain a contender in its industry. For example, in 2008, the company acquired Movielink for integration into its website (blockbuster.
com), for the purpose of providing customers with video-downloads directly to personal computers. Additionally – in order to improve customer-experience – Blockbuster launched an iPhone app in 2009, which allowed customers to search and browse its product catalog, locate stores, lookup store inventories and manage their by-mail queues.Despite these and many other strategic decisions, the company has had to struggle to remain financially solvent. Finally, on September 23, 2010, Blockbuster filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. More recently it was revealed the company is preparing to put itself up for sale after creditors disagreed on plans to give the chain more cash (according to the Wall Street Journal’s report dated Thursday, February 10, 2011).