Blockbuster, the ubiquitous video rental chain of the bygone era, announced recently that they will close 300 stores in U.S. and lay off 3,000 employees. This is after they have already closed hundreds of stores over the years. The latest round of closing will leave them with only 500 stores, down from 9,100 at the peak of their business. This is one of the blockbuster failures in the American business history! To be fair, they are not alone. Recent times have seen number of successful retail businesses wipe out from the landscape – Borders, Circuit City, the list goes on.
Blockbuster was one of the great success stories in how to build an empire by putting number of small rivals out of business throughout the country. Starting with a humble beginning they went on to consolidate the video rental industry to be the eight hundred pound gorilla. And yet, they were not immune to the law of natural business cycle when new competitors came along. There are important lessons to be learned from Blockbuster to ensure your small business does not meet the same fate.