Dish Network on Thursday revealed plans to shutter 200 additional Blockbuster stores, dropping the number of nationwide locations to approximately 1,500. Dish won an auction to take control of Blockbuster and its remaining assets this past April, after the fallen giant filed for bankruptcy last September. Dish said that the 15,000 employees working in Blockbuster locations that will remain operational will not lose their jobs. The company also said employees of the locations set to be shuttered will have the opportunity to transfer to other stores. Blockbuster failed to evolve with the shifting movie rental industry — when it finally did begin to offer new portfolio options to compete with the likes of Netflix, it neglected to add any real value or differentiation beyond competitive offerings. Coupled with the expense of operating physical rental shops, Blockbuster didn’t stand a chance. Dish Network acquired Blockbuster’s in April for approximately $228 million in cash, and it remains to be seen whether or not Dish can manage to transform the current business into something worthwhile. More →
Nokia’s affiliate team has confirmed that Nokia will close its UK online shop by the end of the month. In a letter to partners, the Finnish firm said, “This message is to inform you that Nokia is closing their affiliate [program]… in keeping with a strategic business decision to close down the Nokia UK online shop.” The company argued that it has been hard to compete with wireless carriers that are offering products at subsidized prices. “We are planning to close the current UK online store to simplify our channel structure and focus our resources on our key trade customers,” a Nokia spokesperson told Tech Radar. More →
Modu Ltd., maker of some of the smallest cell phones in the world, will soon be forced to shut its doors according to a pair of reports from Israeli news site Ynet. The news follows reports from November of last year stating that the Israel-based company was forced to cancel a planned IPO and instead begin laying off most of its staff. It now appears as though modu will be forced to close in early February and until then, only a small sales team will remain in place to sell off remaining inventory. According to the report, modu currently owes $123 million to investors and another $21 million to the Israel Discount Bank. Modu may also owe a substantial sum to former employees, who today filed a liquidation request with Israeli courts in an effort to recoup salaries they are allegedly owed. Modu made a name for itself in 2008 when it announced a tiny modular cell phone that could take on new shapes and functions by sliding into various accessories. It would later announce two new devices — the modu T phone, the lightest touchscreen phone in the world, and a Wi-Fi-only VoIP phone called the modu W — but neither phone would become widely available. More →
We’ve independently confirmed that all some Verizon Wireless stores will be closing at 4PM this coming Sunday. More →
Plagued by sluggish sales and a dreadfully low stock price, Circuit City has been in a downward spiral. Last week it was a notice of non-compliance from the NYSE threatening to remove the listing because its stock has been sitting at well below $1.00 for more than a month. This week it is the inevitable cutbacks which have taken the form of layoffs and store closings. According to the Consumerist website, Circuit City is set to announce the closing of 155 stores nationwide today, which is about 20% of its entire retail chain. Many stores held emergency meetings over the weekend to discuss the potential closings and reorganization of the company. According to letters handed out to employees at stores that are slated for closing, all employees will be terminated on or before December 31st, 2008, possibly without any form of severance pay. Dreadful news for Circuit City employees. A list of stores that are on the chopping block has not been publicly released but rumors suggest that those stores set to close are no longer appearing on Circuit City’s store locator. More details about liquidation sales and a full list of stores that are closing should be coming later today – our condolences in advance to everyone affected by this terrible news.
[Via The Consumerist]
UPDATE: The official release just hit, along the closure list and some more info. Again, we can’t express enough how sorry we are for those affected – best of luck to you all.