Blockbuster Trying To Leverage Stores

from the step-one... dept

The main differentiator Blockbuster has from Netflix is that they own those thousands of stores. Around here, you can pass two or three Blockbusters just trying to get to the nearest gas station. However, they haven’t really done all that much with the stores to try to leverage them against Netflix. Apparently, that’s changing. Blockbuster is now trying to use the stores as distribution centers, realizing that it puts them closer to customers, making it easier (they hope) to get movies to renters-by-mail faster. It’s a good idea, in theory, but it will be interesting to see how well it works in practice. The stores really aren’t set up to handle that type of thing, and it could be a bit of a logistical mess. Employees in all those stores will have to be trained very differently, and a good system needs to be in place to handle which stores handle which customers, and how things get passed around if one store is out of a certain movie. With more centralized, regional distribution centers, Netflix gets a bit more economies of scale in being able to train employees in one center to specifically handle the role of sending out and receiving DVDs. What would be even more interesting is if they decided to go further into the Kozmo style business of delivering DVDs within an hour, and then letting you send it back in.

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Comments on “Blockbuster Trying To Leverage Stores”

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MeV says:

I refuse to use Blockbuster

My mother used to use the Lackluster in walking distance from her house until employees failed to check in videos she’d returned the night before _on time_. After complaining to the store manager the second time this happened, she was told she should probably use another video rental establishment.

I wrote a letter of complain to the corporate headquarters naming the store and manager for treating my mother so poorly. I even pointed to the Texas lawsuit against stores that charged customers for lost videos.

I got no response, not even an acknowledgement of reciept of the complaint. I thought all PR droids loved writing those kind of letters.

Since then, mom drives 30 minutes out of town to use Hollywood Video instead. I use Netflix and love it. She doesn’t have a computer, otherwise I’d set her up with Netflix as well.

Blockbuster may have the stores, but the pond scum they staff them with are one step above a Fry’s employee.

Wing says:


I refuse to use Blockbuster too. keeps everyone credit card number and information even after you cancel your membership and
called them to delete your credit card.

Several weeks I tried and I didn’t
like their services. I cancelled my membership and returned all my movies rental promptly.
A week later, I saw online that Blockbuster did not delete my credit card number and dates. I called and asked the representative and supervisor. The supervisor bluntly told me that Blockbuster will not delete my credit card information and that the company
policy is to keep all clients credit card information permanently, despite membership cancellations.

I contact my credit card company and FTC. Both said that Blockbuster has No Right to keep my credit card
information once I cancelled with them.

CF says:

Delivery time the same

First, I love the “lackluster” label by the previous poster – that just about describes the service at both of them near us.
Last time I was in they tried again to push their subscription service since we had a late fee. Their logic was that I wouldn’t have to experience late fees again if I signed up. What a crock! Just don’t charge the late fee, especially since sometimes you can’t remember which were 2-day and which are 1 week. Even if they do try to use the stores to stage videos, you’d only have quicker pickup on the in-stock videos. For the more esoteric choices they still have to be shipped from a warehouse of some sort and that still means waiting. I prefer the Netflix model, thankyou.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 1/5 of their profit is late fees ...

Fuck ” Lackluster ” …

Those son of a bitches actually make 19% of their profit from late fees !
I wish I had saved the article that I read that exposed them for this poor business practice.

Thats almost 1/5th of their profit !

Don’t think for one minute they actually WANT you to return movies on time … it would kill their ” bread & butter ” !

Since consumers started getting wise and making sure they brought back their rentals on time, ” Lackluster ” retrained their drones to not check in overnight rentals until after noon.

And I just LOVE how if you are an infrequent renter, those son of a bitches WAIT & send you a lousy post card 4 to 6 weeks AFTER you supposedly returned the movie late.

By then your screwed and have to act like an asshole in order to get the fee reversed.

I refuse to rent from them anymore.

Beck says:

Long Tail

Using their stores as distribution centers will not allow them to service the “long tail” customers, because they can’t keep a copy of every obscure movie in every store. What was the statistic about how much profit a centralized service such as Netflix or Amazon realizes by servicing the long tail? The only thing the store could be useful for would be as a drop off point, since the customer has to leave home to mail the video back anyway, why not just drop it at the store instead of at the post office?

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