So long, and thanks for all the films.

So, Blockbuster is in the first throws of administration. I may not have a job very soon and I’m a bit sad about that.

blockbusters-(hc)-03k1718I love my job. Seriously, I love working at Blockbuster. Not because it’s such a fabulous company, but because the job itself is fun: I get to chat about film and I love the women I work with; I enjoy tidying the wall, making the DVD boxes look tidy and attractive; I like recommending movies I think my customers, some of whom I’ve got to know quite well, will enjoy.

But it looks like it’s all over bar the shouting.

In some ways, I blame myself: I was always a good customer before I got the job: I rented a lot of films – the movies is one of my hobbies. I read magazines and books about the industry and have my favourite stars and directors, even have favourite screenwriters and cinematographers. But would I have bought from Blockbuster? I doubt it.

If I wanted to buy a DVD I’d go to Amazon or play.com first. And if I had better internet download speeds, I’d be a netflix or lovefilm customer. So I guess I, like most of us, am complicit in the demise of Blockbuster.

The High Street in the Western world has changed so much. Most of us make purchases online, only using the high street to have a look at the merchandise before using the interwebz to buy it at a much cheaper price.

In the past six weeks Comet, HMV and Jessops have all experienced death throws as a result of the new marketplace. I tutted when the others went under, felt a passing pang for the staff and their families. But when it effects yourself, it’s very, very different.

I’m applying for other jobs and I’m still hopeful of finding something else, but I’ll mourn the loss of Blockbuster for a long time.

The social media thingamybobs:

10 Comments

  1. Mr Uku
    Jan 17, 2013

    Can’t blame yourself for using the awesome power of living in the future. Time have changed and businesses need to change too. Blockbuster, like HMV and Jessops, have had years to adapt. But they didn’t. That’s their fault not yours. More well known high street stores will fall this year because they’ve all left it too late.
    Meanwhile you now have more time to practice for the pet portrait business I know you’re going to open 🙂

    • Annette
      Jan 17, 2013

      Ack – pets are too squirmy and difficult and don’t pose on command. And I don’t have a backdrop. Or a portrait lens. But apart from that….

  2. Margot Kinberg
    Jan 17, 2013

    Nettie – First, I am so very sorry about your job. I know you’ll find something else quickly, but still it’s a blow.
     
    You have an interesting point about the way people buy things. It’s all morphed really. What used to be the focus of shopping has changed from the High Street to the e-street, so to speak. It’s very sad because a whole way of life is changing. It’ll be interesting to see what comes next…

    • Annette
      Jan 18, 2013

      Ah, Margot, if we only had a crystal ball… What works for cities – with great opportunities for technology and public transport to leisure facilities in the evening – doesn’t hold out for rural communities. The last bus to the local small town from my village is at 2:30! Buses into Aberdeen run much later, but they are expensive and it’s a much longer journey. It will be interesting to see what comes next.
      I feel sorry for the typically older section of society who are not able to access the opportunities for ecommerce.
      As always, thank you for stopping by xxx

  3. ailsaabrahamwp
    Jan 18, 2013

    Nettie, you know that I hope with all my heart that Meldrum media becomes your full employment or that you can find another job close enough to home to make it viable.
    We can’t change facts. People are time-starved these days and being able to sit in the comfort of their home and buy anything off the internet with one click is the way forward. And although this view is unpopular, I think it is also much more ecological. Instead of each person schlepping off to the shops in their vehicle, more and more products will be delivered by one single vehicle visiting many homes.
    I think in the future town centres are going to become places of leisure, where we meet for coffee, shop for those things that we prefer to handle or try on and … gods forbid, build some affordable housing for people to live in!
    I’m desperately sorry for those who are losing their jobs but one can’t turn back the wheel.
    And for those of us who live out in the sticks – what local shops???

    • Annette
      Jan 18, 2013

      It’s a real shame, Ailsa. Our particular branch was very profitable because of the rural community is served. People would come into town precisely for the opportunities to socialise and shop, so returning a film was no biggie. We will be missed. Thank you xxx

  4. joskehan
    Jan 18, 2013

    The problem a lot of the companies that are folding today all have in common, is that they didn’t do their forecasting too well and failed to see the future with the growth of the internet and use of online services.
    I used to dread having to do a detour on my way to or from work/shopping to return a dvd borrowed by one of the family several days before…there was always a late fee, and it was just another chore I could have done without.
    I feel so sorry for the staff members who have all been left jobless and wondering where to go next….a friend in Ireland has a lovely daughter who recently got a fantastic managerial opportunity with HMV and is now looking at starting all over again.
    When Borders the book store closed all their stores here in Oz, it was cruel to see all the lovely staff having to trundle off and get jobs in cafes etc while they hoped to snag the next dream job.
    I wish you the best Nettie and have my fingers x’d for you. If I was an employer, I’d hire you in a nano-second as people like you are so hard to find now. Hugs. xxxx

    • Annette
      Jan 18, 2013

      Aw, bless you, Jo, and thank you so much xxx

  5. Peter Domican
    Jan 19, 2013

    It’s not just about the internet; it’s high retail rentals and councils trying to make up lost money by increasing car park charges which deter people from going into town. It’s about an economy that is flatlining as more people lose jobs and It’s about people having less money to spend as basic costs such as gas, electricity etc rise unchallenged. And it’s also about companies such as Amazon that don’t have to pay taxes competing with companies that do.
    It’s hard to see how many high street businesses can thrive in this kind of environment and I’m so sad to see you lose a job you loved.

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