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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
  • Blockbuster to close St. Robert store

  • A local store that has been in the area since the 1980s will close its doors this November.
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  • A local store that has been in the area since the 1980s will close its doors this November.
    Blockbuster, which opened its first location in St. Robert in 1989 and moved to its current location in 2000, will close the business for good on Nov. 10.
    Long-time store manager Covell Bellamy Jr. said the store is closing due to a combination of sales and its location being too far away from the company's district in St. Louis.
    Blockbuster, which is owned by Dish Network, announced this week that it will close 300 locations scattered around the country, leaving only 50 franchises.
    The cost-cutting measures culminate a Blockbuster downfall that began a decade ago with the rise of Netflix's DVD-by-mail service, followed by the introduction of a subscription service that streams video over high-speed Internet connections.
    "This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," Dish Network CEO Joseph Clayton said in a statement Wednesday.
    The shift has been a boon for Netflix Inc., which now boasts 31 million subscribers to its Internet video service and another 7.1 million DVD-by-mail customers. The company's success has minted Netflix with a market value of $20 billion.
    But Blockbuster absorbed huge losses. It closed thousands of its stores before landing in bankruptcy court three years ago. Dish Network bought Blockbuster's remnants for about $234 million in 2011 and then tried to mount a challenge to Netflix.
    But the Englewood, Colo., satellite-TV provider couldn't wring a profit from Blockbuster either, prompting even more store closures.
    The chain's near extinction serves as another stark reminder of how quickly technology can reshape industries. Just a decade ago, Blockbuster reigned as one of the country's most ubiquitous retailers with 9,100 stores in the U.S.
    Dish Network is trying to keep the Blockbuster brand alive through an Internet video-streaming service that rents movies and TV shows by title, for a set viewing time.
    Blockbuster suffered an operating loss of $35 million on revenue of $1.1 billion last year and posted an operating loss of $4 million during the first half of this year, according to regulatory filings.
    Bellamy said that he will really miss the community and working at the store.
    "I really enjoyed working with our employees and customers here and I'm sad to see it go," Bellamy said.
    Bellamy encourages long time customers to stop in and say goodbye before Nov. 10.
    *The Associated Press contributed to the reporting in this story
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