In 1985, David Cook, a software engineer with the idea to make the rental industry more cost-effective, started the first Blockbuster video store in Dallas, Texas. Ever since then, Blockbuster has made over $5.29 billion in revenue as of 2008 with over 7,000 stores located in over twenty countries. Its larger selections of videos, electronic catalogs, and extended rental times were revolutionary concepts at the time. However, with the presence of Netflix, Redbox, and many other digital video stores, we can all say goodbye to Blockbuster, with its end drawing near.
Computerization is becoming part of our lives faster than we think. Netflix is an American corporation centered on movie and television rentals over the Internet and via “DVDs by mail”. Digital video is instant and easier to access. The push of a button takes much less time than a drive to the video store, and the supply is seemingly unlimited.
Barnes & Noble isn’t safe from the digital world either. More and more “eBooks” are being sold every day. In addition to being easier to access, digital books do not require paper or binding. The reduced production price means benefits to the company and to the customer. At least bookstores are attempting to catch up with the developments of numerous eBook readers, but Borders’ future still looks bleak.
And what will this mean? Will our bookstores disappear, defeated by eBooks? Will snail mail be eliminated from the face of the Earth in response to the presence of E-mail? Will paper become obsolete entirely? Only time will tell.