This past weekend I visited Blockbuster for the first time in a while. I’d written them off to a certain degree after my discovery of The New Release, Redbox (and Insideredbox.com), who let you rent DVDs for $1 or even $0. To be honest, the only reason I even considered entering Blockbuster was because I desperately wanted to watch a particular movie and it was out of stock at the $1 rental box closest to my home. And I’m not quite up to speed on the online movie watching, nor do I have an on-demand type cable or satellite TV service. I’m a bit old school when it comes to movies. Hey, at least I don’t watch VHS anymore.
So, reluctantly I stepped into the nearest Blockbuster, knowing I was about to pay $5 for something I could have rented for $1. Still, I was pleased to find the movie I wanted heavily stocked on the shelf. Then, I proceeded to the register where the person checking me out asked if I wanted to rent it for the one-night price of $1.99, or keep it for a week at $4.99. Obviously, since I was planning to watch the movie that night, I happily opted for the $1.99 price. Does anyone know when Blockbuster began offering this price and if it’s a nationwide offering?
Anyway, I left feeling good about my purchase, and at the same time, pleased with Blockbuster (a Dallas-based company) for altering their pricing structure to compete with the $1 boxes. The way I see it, this move will keep the brick and mortar Blockbuster stores around for a bit longer. Eventually everything will be digital and you won’t need a store, but for now it’s nice to see them making the smart changes required to stay competitive.
I realize $1.99 still isn’t $1.00 or $0 (the Redbox price with promo code), but Blockbuster has the advantage of being able to stock more DVDs. Thus, increasing the chances you’ll actually leave with the movie you want. I think I’d pay $2 instead of $1 if I knew the movie would be there. Also, Blockbuster allows you to turn the movie in by store closing, whereas the $1 boxes seem to give you a 24 hour window to return the movie (correct me if I’m wrong about that one). All this to say, I think going forward, I’ll probably be using Blockbuster more for my movie renting needs.