- Blockbuster just became the loneliest franchise in the world.
- Blockbuster’s last remaining store in Australia will shutter its doors this month, leaving just one Blockbuster left on earth.
- The once-giant franchise – which had 9,000 stores globally at its peak – now has a but a single store left in Bend, Oregon.
- The rise of streaming services like Netflix have contributed to the end of an era.
Blockbuster just became the loneliest franchise in the world.
The last outback outpost of the video rental franchise is closing its doors, leaving just one Blockbuster left on earth.
The Australian store, located in the Perth suburb of Morley on the country’s west coast, announced it would be ceasing operations at the end of this month, according to Community News.
Signs were put up on the storefront window on Friday, according to owner Lyn Borszeky, who said customers are sad about the store’s imminent closure.
“We put in a pretty good effort to be the last one in Australia, I suppose, but it was going to happen eventually and now is the time,” Borszeky told Australian Associated Press on Friday.
The once-giant franchise – which had 9,000 stores across the world at its peak – now has a but a single store left in Bend, Oregon. In August, the Bend began selling a beer named “The Last Blockbuster” to mark its status as the only remaining Blockbuster in the US.
The franchise gained success in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and Viacom bought Blockbuster for $US8.4 billion during its golden age. But with the rise of streaming services like Netflix, the chain has experienced a steady decline over the last decade.
“We knew change was coming but were a bit surprised how quickly it affected our customer base once Netflix hit the Australian market,” Borszeky said last year.
Borszeky said the longevity of her brick-and-mortar store rested partly on nostalgia and face-to-face interactions with customers.
“We get customers all the time pleading for us not to close as they still enjoy the experience and service that we provide,” Borszeky said. “It is sad to see where our industry has gone for a number of reasons.”