SALT LAKE CITY — Well, this is sad. There’s only one Blockbuster store left in the entire country, and it is in Bend, Oregon.
On Thursday, the Anchorage Daily News reported that the final Blockbuster stores in Alaska shut down, which marked “the end of an era in what has long been one of the video rental business's last strongholds.”
The Alaska stores revealed in a Facebook post that they will close for rental business.
The stores will be open through July and August for inventory sales.
Alan Payne, who owns the two Alaska stores through a Blockbuster licensee called Border Entertainment, said he and his team realized nine months ago it wouldn’t make any sense to renew the leases when they’re up in August.
"It's always kind of a kick in the pants every time we close a store. But it's been going on for so long that the shock has worn off, frankly,” Payne said. "This is not going to come back. We can't string this out any longer without creating some financial problems."
Blockbuster previously operated more than 9,000 stores nationwide. Now, it is down to just one.
Twitter didn't exactly know how to handle there being only one Blockbuster.
Sandi Harding, the general manager of the Bend location, told USA Today her store has lasted because of her “amazing, loyal customers.”
She said she’s worked at Blockbuster for 14 years, which has included some moments of heartbreak.
She’s said for years that Blockbuster stores “need to get ahead” of streaming services such as Netflix.2 comments on this story
As the Associated Press reported, Blockbuster tried to combat the rising Netflix, dating back even to 2007. At that time, Blockbuster offered lower-priced rental plans with the belief the company could grow more than 40 percent.
Harding said business might pick up since the Oregon location is the final store.
"It might end up being a little chaotic for a couple of weeks," Harding told the Associated Press.
She added that the future looks good.
“We have no plans on closing anytime soon,” Harding said.