Blockbuster to Sell Smartphones in Brick-And-Mortar Stores

There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to stay relevant, even if you are on a brink of being down and out. This is happening over at Blockbuster, the video rental chain acquired by Dish Network.

The new owners could not seem to bring Blockbuster into consumers’ consciousness as an alternative to Netflix, so they are taking the brand–and the business–to a slightly different direction: sell mobile phones inside Blockbuster’s remaining brick-and-mortar stores.

The chain still has 850 retail locations that are not yet closed down or converted into discount furniture stores. Apparently, Blockbuster has been selling smartphones online and it is keeping the business afloat, so it seems like a fine idea to sell them on physical stores.

Because, let’s face it: sooner or later, receiving rental DVD’s by mail or borrowing them from your local Blockbuster’s store will be a thing of the pas due to more convenient alternatives. Blockbuster already has on-demand streaming service like Netflix and Hulu, but they just could not seem to keep up.

Bloomberg’s Alex Sherman explains that the move could be Blockbuster’s prelude to something bigger. Dish Network has been toying on the idea of becoming a satellite service provider. Its CEO, Joseph Clayton, hasn’t been shy about his plans to establish a “national wireless network.” Selling smartphones in Blockbuster stores could be part of Dish’s plan to attract customers into Dish’s potential wireless plans (once it gets an approval of the FCC), but this is all speculation for now.

Source: Bloomberg, via TechCrunch

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