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Earlier this week, Blockbuster admitted that it might be heading towards bankruptcy. The company has been hurting ever since the rise of Netflix and DVR; it's already closed 1,300 stores, but now it plans to shutter even more, possibly including some of the 22 Blockbuster outposts in New York City.
According to Crain's, that could be a serious win for other retailers who want to expand, not to mention local shoppers. One real estate expert pointed out that Blockbuster has a history of running stores in big spaces that are easy to convert to other businesses. Also, since Blockbusters tend to serve specific neighborhoods, the spaces are attractive to local resources like grocery stores. Union Market in Carroll Gardens is a perfect example: The supermarket took over a former Blockbuster on Court Street, replacing dusty video cassettes with fresh fish and homemade harissa sauce.
Of course, that's the most optimistic interpretation of the news. We could also be facing a wave of empty storefronts with nothing in them, in which case being able to rent Three Men and a Baby for your VCR wouldn't seem like such a bad option.
· Blockbuster Shares Fall on Chapter 11 Warning [NYT]
· Many Blockbuster outposts could be up for grabs [Crain's]
· Union Market Is a Carroll Gardens Game-Changer [Racked NY]