Blockbusters confusing item stock, and Twilight bandages.
Today I found Twilight: New Moon bandages at my local blockbuster store. At first I was bemused, thinking to myself, yes that is what I need Jacob covering up my booboos, or better yet, Alice Cullen aka Ashley Greene. (Yeah, I have a bit of a celebrity crush, I’m okay with that.) Now despite my immense want to buy these on sales, year old, healing pieces of adhesive tape, I didn’t. Despite my desire to confuse the cashier, I couldn’t bring myself to support Blockbuster in their ridiculous advertising crossover confusion, because they have been confusing me for a while.
Now I’m a big fan of movies and games, and obviously it makes sense to have a selection of complementary items to go with your movies. Blockbuster doesn’t just do this however, Blockbuster has seemingly gone to an utter extreme when it comes to this kind of thing, they have advert candies, toys, board games, pillows, pictures, hats, satchels, water bottles, magazines, bracelets, flip-flops, BLOODY CELEBRI-DUCKS, and more junk. As a frequent customer, I notice all this stuff, and I never see people buying it, any of it.
Much of the stock is old, and outdated, and confusing to boot. Many of the pictures they have there are some of the famous pictures of all time, like the sailor welcome home kiss at the end of world war 2, The two bored angels, the Broadway sign, and a bunch of creepy child photos. Do any of those pictures incite me to rent hyper detailed movies or games? And don’t get me started on the books; let’s just say Donald trump, and the book detailing the short lived Broadway bust Disney’s Tarzan (Which was on Broadway ten years ago). WHY? Why are these here? Does not compute!!! And they don’t sell it, I’m pretty sure they just ship it back to corporate were it languishes in the never ending hell of being shipped from store to store in a desperate attempt to make an over prices twenty to thirty dollars.
There was only one time I saw someone else even considering buying something. I saw a 10 year old kid asking his mom to buy a picture of John Lennon, while swearing to be a lifelong Beatles fan, I love his taste, but I swear he was just jumping on the rock band hype engine.
You know it’s bad when a store stops trying. Brand new game guides are going for half price, because they can’t get rid of them. The prices for accessories aren’t changing with the times, making them continually less competitive. The stock is getting more and more convoluted as they keep hiding things away in random corners, so really only the hardcore will see most of the periphery stuff. I know I only can go by my seasonal local stores, one at home, and one at college, but two stores alike in dignity is not a good sign.
Like I kind of get it, Blockbuster is trying to be hip and counter act stores like FYE, and Hot topic, and the ultimate goal is to get people in the store longer in an attempt to get them to buy things. However this is absolutely not the way to do it. FYE isn’t their threat. Hot Topic is not the threat. NETFLIX is the threat, HULU is the threat, they should be looking at options to make their catalog more readily accessible, they should be hyping up their online service, and inspiring people to buy blu ray players. How many people do you know who have an online blockbuster delivery subscription? Like here’s a free idea blockbuster, how about your store does personal deliveries just like pizza? That would be great, you get your movie quickly, and you don’t have to go to the store, but to return it. I don’t know maybe it would be impractical, but come on do something. We are a couple of years, maybe only decades or two away from having massive cutbacks in local outlets, and I don’t want to lose you guys because of your poor business model. As a great man once said “Evolve or Die”, and blockbuster right now your choosing the latter of the two.
*This editorial doesn’t have a lot of meaning, it’s the rough equivalent of writing an angry, but helpful letter to a corporation with no hope of hearing back, but this is the stuff I think about in my free time.
*Also after writing this, I found out blockbuster is in massive debt and may have to declare bankruptcy as of may or march, so yea… sorry I didn’t write this sooner?
*Also yes, I love purple prose.
Update! In the week since I wrote this article, the situation has gotten worse with even more things on sale.