That represents 35% of the 850 domestic Blockbuster stores that Dish Network reported it still had at the end of September. “Some of the approximately 300 stores are reaching the end of their lease and others are closing based on overall performance,” company spokesman John Hall says. He adds that Dish still sees “value in the Blockbuster brand” but that Dish “will continue to analyze store level profitability and – as we have in the past – close unprofitable stores.” The decision follows last week’s announcement that Dish put Blockbuster UK into administration — the equivalent of bankruptcy. Dish has been struggling with the video retail chain since April 2011 when it paid $238M to take it out of bankruptcy. In Q3 — the first quarter that offered a clean comparison with the previous year — Blockbuster generated an $11.9M operating loss, down from a $3.6M profit in 2011, on revenues of $230.9M, -33.5%. Dish CEO Joe Clayton told analysts in November that he was hopeful new marketing strategies and improved in-store displays would boost Blockbuster rentals in Q4, “which is traditionally the highest performing quarter for all retailers.” He added that he planned to “focus on individual store profitability and the execution of our long-term strategy.”
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