Menlo Park Blockbuster goes bust

Store to close on Feb. 19

It's lights off for Menlo Park's Blockbuster store at 3532 Alameda de las Pulgas in West Menlo Park. The store plans to shut its doors on Feb. 19.

The closure follows in the wake of others across the United States after the franchise filed for bankruptcy and sold its assets to DISH Network in April for an estimated $320 million.

DISH spokesman Aaron Johnson said the franchise remains committed to maintaining only those stores that can turn a profit. In general, he said, "Stores can close for a number of reasons, such as the store reaching the end of its lease, a store may be too large in size, or property owners may be unwilling to reach a reasonable lease renewal."

As many employees as possible -- each store employs 8 to 12 on average, according to Johnson -- will be relocated to other stores.

The manager of the Menlo Park store declined to comment on how many employees the closure will affect and said the store's inventory is being sold.

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Like this comment
Posted by The-World-Is-Going-Digital
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2011 at 9:06 am

The closure of this Menlo Park Blockbuster is a part of a large shift from “analog”/physical media to “digital/virtual media. The cost of distributing “bits” which ultimately become “flickers of light on a screen” is obviously much cheaper and more effective using digital networks (meaning the Internet at the moment). The costs are far less for the information provider, and these cost reductions are passed on to the end customers in terms of lower prices, and higher availability of “product”.

We can expect a lot of local retail to be slowly displaced by on-line retailers, as people become more accustomed to purchasing on-line. This shift from local to remote retail has many, many, implications—particularly since local governments make a lot of money from sales taxes.

Like this comment
Posted by Cresecent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 29, 2011 at 11:15 am

Which is why we need the US Government to repeal the Internet tax law and allow local governments to receive their sales tax that would be due to them under former circumstances.

Level the playing field.

Like this comment
Posted by nflx
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 29, 2011 at 1:10 pm

This is not a sales tax issue. Blockbuster was killed by Netflix, not by Amazon. We pay sales tax on Netflix subscriptions (don't know about other states). So at least Blockbuster closures in California are not the fault of sales tax.

Now the closures of all the record stores and bookstores in town I would blame on Amazon. I'm all for charging a fare tax on internet purchases. State law requires Amazon customers to pay use tax on their income tax forms, but apparently the vast majority of Amazon customers are tax cheats. The state government should be able to use the full force of the law to go after these cheats.

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of another community
on Dec 29, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Try Redbox. You can reserve movies online. Return them to ANY Redbox. We have been using Redbox for 3 months and NOT one problem.

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Dec 29, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Now the closures of all the record stores and bookstores in town I would blame on Amazon."

Amazon took away their business simply because Amazon provides dramatically better customer service and a much broader range of choice. And it is not Amazon's fault if California residents do not pay their legal obligated use tax.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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