Blockbuster to close retail stores and mail DVD rentals by early January

It wasn't hard to see the writing on the wall for Blockbuster's rapidly declining disc-based movie services, and it's now clear that the end is at hand. The Dish-owned company says it will close its remaining 300 directly controlled American stores (down from 9,000 in its heyday) by early January, along with their matching distribution centers. Blockbuster By Mail rentals will also disappear by mid-December. While franchised stores will survive, Blockbuster is effectively becoming an internet-only brand in the US; you'll likely have to use Blockbuster @Home or Blockbuster On Demand to see that blue-and-yellow logo. We're not lamenting the death of the retail business when online services are much more convenient, but we won't blame you if you feel slightly nostalgic -- it's the end of an era.

[Image credit: Josh Smith, Flickr]

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Blockbuster to shutter remaining US retail stores, accept the inevitable