"These are the last two Blockbuster stores in Alaska that survived and it is sad to say goodbye to our dedicated customers", Kevin Daymude, the stores' general manager, said in a Facebook post. The talk show host bid on a number of items at the Russell Crowe divorce auction and sent them to one of the stores in Anchorage. The two locations, one in Anchorage and the other in Fairbanks, will stop renting movies on Monday, and then sell off any remaining inventory through August. While this brought publicity and increased sales to the stores, it wasn't enough to offset the planned lease increase. Blockbuster Video officially went out of business years ago, but three stores actually managed to hold out and continue operations in the United States, until this week.
The announcement is one of a recent series of Blockbuster closures across the country with store numbers dropping from 13 in 2013 to six in 2016. The owners told Deadline that while the stores are still profitable, the money they're making is rapidly declining, and it wouldn't make financial sense to renew the leases. That leaves a lone Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon as the last man standing in a video chain that, at its peak, had more than 9,000 stores, half outside the U.S., and employed more than 84,000 people worldwide. "This is not going to come back".
She credited the store's "amazing, loyal customers" for the store's longevity.
Border Entertainment used to own Blockbuster stores in Texas, too, but those have also closed.
"The memorabilia is probably going to go back to the owner, which is fine, because I don't want a jockstrap in my house", Daymude said.
It's not clear yet what will happen to the memorabilia, Payne said. In May, John Oliver and HBO even donated a freaky assortment of Russell Crowe paraphernalia to one of the Anchorage stores that announced plans to close on Thursday.
"We will miss all of you!" The location has no plans of closing anytime soon, according to store general manager Sandi Harding.
"Thank you for sticking by us throughout all these years", Daymude said in a heartfelt message on Facebook.
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