Monday, August 30, 2010

Karma Strikes Blockbuster Video

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Back in the 80s, VHS was all the rage, and small, independent video stores were opening everywhere. Then Blockbuster Video came along with its larger (and, by corporate dictate, family-friendlier) movie selection and free membership, and those stores began disappearing.

Can you say “Walmart?”

Now Blockbuster is facing bankruptcy due to the growth of streaming online video and DVD-by-mail. I still have a Blockbuster card, but since Netflix came around, that store has pretty much lost me as a customer. If there is a specific movie I want to watch tonight, I will get it from one of the many rental boxes around.

A visit to the local Blockbuster has become a depressing affair: Half-empty shelves, with much of the stock up for sale as “previously viewed.” Few customers, even on Friday night, when one once might have had to wait in line to rent a video. A wasteland. It’s as if someone franchised Detroit.

I get no joy at the thought of anyone losing their job – especially in this economy – but I can’t help thinking this is the business version of karma (“what goes around comes around”) for the former video behemoth.

So, when can we expect Walmart to get a taste of that karma?

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