DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s the end of an era as Blockbuster prepares to shut down its last remaining American retail stores.

Blockbuster retail stores are already a much rarer sight across the country than they used to be — but by early next year they will disappear completely.

Dish Network acquired Blockbuster in a bankruptcy auction in 2011. And now, Dish has announced that it will close the 300 remaining Blockbuster retail stores in the United States by January.

Dish CEO Joseph Clayton said the move is in response to a shift in consumer demand toward services like Netflix, Hulu and the On Demand video offered by cable TV  providers.

“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” Clayton said in a statement. “Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business, we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings.”

At its peak about a decade ago, Blockbuster had more than 9,000 retail stores worldwide.


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