Last September, Blockbuster Inc. filed for bankruptcy. Today, it was reported that two companies that liquidate inventory after stores close are bidding in Blockbuster's bankruptcy auction. If they win, they could close up the remaining 1,717 Blockbuster locations and sell off the inventory.
It's not yet clear how likely this is, though. The liquidators, Gordon Brothers Group and Hilco Merchant Resources, filing a joint bid, are only one of several parties with a stake in the Blockbuster auction, and The Wall Street Journal notes that they might be outbid entirely. Alternatively, the liquidators could win the rights to Blockbuster's physical locations, while another bidder might take over the vending and digital side of operations and decide to keep them going.
Still, this is dispiriting news for anyone who grew up with Blockbuster rentals. Then again, it's a season for sad bankruptcy stories. Bookstore chain Borders undertook the process in February (and not every location has taken it with good grace). American Apparel is said to be contemplating bankruptcy after a financially disastrous 2010. And today, pizza restaurant Sbarro filed for Chapter 11 protection, reportedly hoping to reduce its debt by $195 million.
It's hard not to feel, reading these headlines, like all the wholesome entertainment options of the '80s and '90s (and also American Apparel) are closing their doors, one by one. As long as Chuck E. Cheese's isn't next--we don't know what we'd do if that were the case.