Blockbuster Gets "Convenient"

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Blockbuster Gets "Convenient"

DALLAS -- Blockbuster movie rental stores here are getting some "convenient" additions, reported the Dallas Morning News.

Company executive Jim Keyes, the former CEO of convenience chain 7-Eleven, is testing different concepts catered to the surrounding demographic of a dozen area stores, including offering snacks, cappuccino or a fountain drinks, the report stated.

An old-fashioned soda counter with chrome stools and a black-and-white checkerboard tiled floor was inserted in a store across from Southern Methodist University, while a Blockbuster across from a 7-Eleven and a McDonald's in McKinney has a self-serve coffee and soft drink bar, the newspaper reported.

Other additions include selling big-screen TVs; offering rentals in the morning; providing free Wi-Fi and place to play video games on big screens; and providing technology to watch movies, read books or create videos at store locations, the report stated.

"I'm a big believer of the physical relevance of a store. People like to shop, whether it's in a Neiman Marcus or a Blockbuster," Keyes told the newspaper. "But we need to change our stores to become a destination for entertainment."

Analyst Arvind Bhatia, with Dallas-based Sterne Agee & Leach, told the paper he found the test stores promising, and added it's too early to tell whether the investments will generate a return. His favorite concept was the full-service beverage counter co-branded as a Coca-Cola cafe. The concept may generate an impulse purchase on top of the price of a rental, he said.

Keyes declined to specify how long the prototype stores will be studied, but said that the company will roll out ideas as they catch on, the report stated.