Only six branches of the video rental chain will stay open in the US, including four in the most sparsely populated state, Alaska. But when the North Pole branch of Blockbuster said it would stop renting DVDs it was a sad day for many in the central Alaskan town – and the end of one of the last relics of analogue-era entertainment. The rental store branch announced on social media it would be shutting last week, and began a liquidation sale of its stock that will continue into April.
At its peak Blockbuster had 9,000 stores in the US, with $6bn in annual revenue and a new store opening every 17 hours in 1989. Three of the remaining Blockbusters in the US have closed this year, including another Alaska store in Wasilla and one in Texas. With those branches gone, there are now just six US stores set to continue operating. Four are in Alaska, including two in the state’s biggest city, Anchorage, and two others in Oregon.