Blockbuster closing 300 more stores. Why?

Blockbuster closing 300 more stores and laying off about 3,000 employees. The latest Blockbuster closings will leave Dish TV with about 500 Blockbuster stores nationwide.

REUTERS/Paul Hackett
Dish Network, the owner of Blockbuster, says it will be closing 300 more stores this year. At left, a Blockbuster sign in London, where the chain is in bankruptcy proceedings.

Dish Network Corp. says it plans to close about 300 Blockbuster stores across the country, losing about 3,000 employees.

Company spokesman John Hall told The Denver Post on Monday that the closures will leave about 500 Blockbuster locations in the U.S. Blockbuster is owned by Dish Network.

Dish Network last year also shuttered about 500 underperforming Blockbuster locations. Hall says the stores that will be closed in coming weeks are either underperforming or nearing the end of their leases.

"There have been store closures" in the past, Hall told The Denver Post.. "Really, from the time of acquisition there has been a strategy to evaluate stores on a case-by-case basis in an effort to look at their production."

He says the 3,000 employees were informed about the latest closures on Friday. The store locations have not been announced.

Colorado-based Dish Network in March 2011 bought the then-bankrupt video rental chain for $320 million. It plans to move Blockbusters' headquarters from Texas to Colorado's Douglas County.

Dish Network is the No. 2 US satellite-TV service provided, with some 14 million subscribers. The company has ambitions to become a major player in the mobile phone business. Earlier this month Dish made a play for Clearwire, seeking to outbid Sprint. Dish has since asked the FCC to slow down the proposed $20.1 billion purchase of Sprint by the Japanese mobile phone company Softbank.

In 2012, the Colorado Economic Development Commission granted Dish up to $2.5 million in Job Growth Incentive Tax Credits for the relocation of Blockbuster's headquarters from Texas to Douglas County. The move was expected to create 150 management jobs in the metro area over five years with an average annual wage of $93,257.

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