Now that Blockbuster (BBI) has more or less surrendered the mail order DVD biz to Netflix (NFLX), might as well wring some additional revenue out of the stores. That’s the message from chief exec Jim Keyes, who told analysts in New York that he’d rather focus on the 20 million people who still visit Blockbuster stores each month than its 3.1 million online subscriber base.
To that end, Blockbuster will start experimenting with new layouts, download stations and kiosks, books, beverages and higher rental prices to boost sales. This is basically a punt, not a hail mary: Blockbuster hopes it will be able to figure out a digital strategy down the road; in the near term it’s stuck trying to squeeze whatever it can out of its ageing business model. “The things we are doing today will have an impact today,” Keyes said. They had better.