Blockbuster closing all U.S. retail stores

Company will end its retail and by-mail distribution operations by early January 2014; remaining 300 U.S.-based stores to be closed.

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Blockbuster's days as a retail establishment are numbered. Parent company Dish Network announced today that Blockbuster will end its retail and by-mail distribution operations by early January 2014.

The 300 remaining United States-based Blockbuster retail stores, as well as distribution centers, will be closed. The Blockbuster by-mail service will end in the middle of December.

"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," Dish CEO Joseph P. Clayton said in a statement.

Blockbuster is principally known as a movie sales and rental establishment, but the company also features a library of games for purchase or rental.

Though Blockbuster stores will close, the Blockbuster brand will live on through expanded digital offerings, Clayton said. Dish will retain licensing rights to the Blockbuster brand, which includes key assets like the company's "significant video library."

Dish will continue to deliver the Blockbuster @Home service to subscribers, and the Blockbuster On Demand program will live on indefinitely.

Blockbuster UK recently entered administration for the second time. One establishment recently refunded a customer's PlayStation 4 preorder after he protested outside the store with a microphone.

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