Bankrupt video-rental chain Blockbuster continues to reduce its retail footprint in the Triangle.
The stores in Garner and Clayton rented their last DVDs last week, staff writer Colin Campbell reports. The locations are holding liquidation sales before they close for good in April.
The Blockbuster in Raleigh's Mission Valley closed last week, and other closures are likely.
The chain filed for bankruptcy protection last fall amid mounting debt, consumers shifting to online rentals and increasing competition from rivals such as Netflix and the $1-per-night Redbox kiosks.
Blockbuster plans to close about 600 of its 3,400 stores nationwide, but could be forced to close more in its bankruptcy proceeding. The abandoned stores create empty space in local shopping centers that landlords will seek to refill despite a still-shaky economy. In North Raleigh, one former Blockbuster became a Jimmy John's sandwich shop.
In Clayton, Blockbuster’s departure from the Walmart shopping center on U.S. 70 Business leaves the town with no video-rental store, Campbell reports. The closing of Garner’s Blockbuster – on Timber Drive next to Kroger – leaves a Triangle chain, North American Video, as the town's last rental store standing.
Blockbuster, which once had close to two dozen stores in the Triangle, soon will have fewer than 16. Even as its closes stores, Blockbuster and partner NCR are installing more Blockbuster Express kiosks in this region and across the country. The chain also is promoting its mail-order service and online streaming video rentals.
Blockbuster’s website says it will soon open kiosks in two new Garner locations: Rite Aid, 2311 Timber Drive, and Food Lion, 1339 5th Ave.
In Clayton, Blockbuster Express has a kiosk at Food Lion, 50 Neuse River Parkway, and the chain is adding one at Rite Aid, 11360 U.S. 70 Business.