Blockbuster Moving Beyond Reliance on DVDs: CEO
In the new digital arena, Blockbuster faces many challenges against a growing field of competitors. While its stock is down some 70 percent over the past year, the company's CEO sees a "bright future," he told CNBC.
"We're in the middle of a dramatic transformation," said James Keyes, Blockbuster's CEO. "During the course of this transformation, we're moving away from a total reliance on DVDs and now a different form of distribution for both DVDs and digital content. We're building new channels."
The chain plans to shutter 1,000 stores, and its restructuring includes adding 10,000 points of purchase through Blockbuster Express.
In the near term, the company looks to compete with Netflix's by-mail service with its own a-la-carte offerings. To challenge Redbox's vending system, Blockbuster kiosks are built to enable digital downloads and physical distributions.
As for its brick and mortar locations, the company last year launched a prototype of its "Rock the Block" stores, which give customers access to games, movies, and a self-service Coca-Cola bar.
In the long term, Keyes believes the Blockbuster brand remains its legacy selling point.
"When you're driving down main street and you see the Blockbuster brand, you'll know it's the place to rent movies," Keyes said. "The same experience, we think, will be true for the internet. There will be a vast array of people offering movies, but Blockbuster is a very reliable brand."