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Blockbuster goes bust, stores closing in Michigan

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
A hand written 'Closed' sign is pasted in the window of a former Blockbuster video store in Jackson, Michigan

Michiganders who still like to browse video store shelves will soon lose one of the few outlets left.

The last Blockbuster video stores in Michigan will soon close.

For many Michiganders, there was a time when a trip to their neighborhood Blockbuster was a big part of their weekend plans.

Blockbuster was born in the mid-1980’s, during the boom in video tape sales and rentals.

At the company’s peak in 2004, Blockbuster had nine thousand stores in the U.S, with hundreds in Michigan.  However, after the boom came the bust.

Cable and satellite TV offering on-demand and streaming movies doomed Blockbuster.   The company declared bankruptcy in 2010.

"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," said Joseph P. Clayton, DISH president and chief executive officer.  DISH bought Blockbuster in 2011.

Now the dozen or so Blockbuster stores left in Michigan are slated to close in mid-January, including stores in Lansing, Brighton, Pontiac, Rockford and Novi.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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