New owner will keep more than 1,500 locations open
Dish Network Corp. will shutter 200 more Blockbuster stores to cut the number of stores to around 1,500.
The movie rental company had about 1,700 stores when Dish Network acquired it from bankruptcy in April.
A company spokesman told TheWrap Thursday that more than 15,000 employees will keep their jobs and that employees of stores that are being closed will be offered positions at other Blockbuster locations.
According to Dish, many of the closures are due to difficulty renewing leases. Spokesman Marc Lumpkin said the bankruptcy judge gave the company 90 days to negotiate with landlords across the country.
"For the most part, the ones that have closed are as a result of the landlords choosing not to renew the leases," he said.
"We'll continue to look for opportunities to expand — to open more stores," Lumpkin said, "particularly in those areas where we wanted to keep stores open but the landlords didn't renew leases."
Blockbuster received a boost last week when Netflix angered many customers by raising its rates.
"We said, 'If you're a Netflix customer, give us proof and we'll give you a new low price on Blockbuster's by-mail service," Marc Lumpkin said.
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