We are only now about to subscribe to the Canadian version of netflix, as we seek to expose our kid to older movies that no longer are worth shelf-space at Blockbuster. Aside from Netflex, Hulu, and other technologies, I do think the movie to thin the on-floor stock of older stuff did hurt Blockbuster. It is also the case that Blockbuster sucked at human relations:
The Blockbuster "experience" generally ranged from anonymous but painless to deeply annoying. They underpaid their employees and treated them like cattle, and with each passing year they dropped more and more of the pretense that they considered movies to be something other than goods to be lined up on shelves.My mother-in-law worked at one until very recently (downsized with the company). Her tales of the weakness of the management (lower and upper), combined with how little appreciation she received for being a reliable and friendly work, more than hinted at a broken company, netflix or not.
I like browsing in a videostore, just like I enjoy browsing in a bookstore, even though I buy much of my reading via amazon or its competitors. But the opportunities for doing either may be diminishing.
Other brands that may disappear this year include:
- Readers Digest, which makes sense since so much reading can be delivered and digested online. I never subscribed so I cannot say what will be missed.
- Dollar Thirfty rental car. Not earth-shattering as it is just a narrowing of the market, but predictable as travel and tourism are priced out of people's lives with the recession and wage stagnation.
- Moody's. Someone is going to lose its ability to conduct business in the aftermath of the housing bubble. Rating agencies make sense as one such loser. "Moody's is more than 100 years old, but the reputation it built over those years is irretrievably lost." If all you produce is reputation for reliability and you lose that, well, you are dead meat. Of course, I have no expertise here, but it seems sensible that this one should bite the dust.
- BP: Huh? What has gone wrong there? Oh, never mind.
- Radioshack. Nooo!!! Oh, never mind, I was never into it, but it has been handy over the years for various pieces of equipment. As long as we have some hobby-type stores, the Shack nay not be missed.
- Merrill Lynch. Not so bullish after all. Again, another casualty of lots of bad decisions.
- Kia. I didn't know what Hyundai owned Kia, but it makes sense that they would ditch the second nameplate, as the American car companies are doing. I always that it was Kia that made my fun little Ford Festiva (great cheap grad school car), but I guess it was Hyundai.