Besides the store closings that occurred as part of retail industry bankruptcy court proceedings, the retail chain that delivered the worst downsizing news in 2009 was Blockbuster. The retail industry got the first big hint of trouble in April when Blockbuster filed papers with the SEC that stated that the chain had "substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern." After quietly and consistently closing stores all throughout the year, Blockbuster finally made one of the worst store closing announcements of the 2009. In all, Blockbuster decided to close 960 stores in 2009, cutting 10,000 more jobs from the U.S. retail industry.
Blockbuster's worst results seemingly have little to do with the Great Recession. When Blockbuster's leaders failed to ask or answer the question, "How can we make the movie rental experience better for the customer?" two other companies asked - and answered - that question for them. Consequently, Blockbuster is now caught in a perpetual game of catch up with upstarts Netflix and Redbox, which may be hindered by Blockbuster's need to focus on keeping its brick and mortar stores profitable.
Considering the speed at which the DVD rental business is changing, the worst news and results from the Blockbuster chain may still be yet to come.