Blockbuster isn’t done and dusted quite yet, but it is sure starting to feel that way.
Earlier this week the Blockbuster stores in the U.K. filed for that nation’s version of bankruptcy. There are supposedly some third-parties interested in buying portions of the company, but nothing solid is on the table as of yet. In the United States, the situation isn’t much better.
While it is always sad to see companies struggling, it’s hard to ignore that companies such as this usually have no one to blame but themselves. Blockbuster could have been much quicker out of the gate against Netflix, or it could have come up with the ideas of DVDs by mail or streaming video on its own. Instead it allowed Netflix to get a foothold in those markets, and then it ran around playing catchup with them.
The sad truth of the matter is, this has happened time and time again in the history of business. Consumer habits change, technologies change and the companies that are able to survive for decades on end are those that either cater to a basic need – furniture stores, for instance, will have a hard time being replaced by online purchases – or learn to roll with the times quickly.
Change is difficult for businesses, but it’s a better option than declaring bankruptcy and having to call it a day completely.