Last week Netflix announced plans to open physical “experience” stores that will offer patrons themed food, show merchandise, the chance to meet actors, and watch ticketed shows. Video rental companies Blockbuster and Redbox shared their thoughts on the news yesterday.
“Oh boy … Should we tell Netflix how this ends?” Blockbuster posted on X, formerly Twitter.
Shortly after, Redbox replied to Netflix’s post with a Taylor Swift lyric, “I think I’ve seen this film before.”
This isn’t the first time Blockbuster has made a jab at the streaming giant online. In May, the company seemingly called out Netflix’s password sharing crackdown.
“A friendly reminder that when you used to rent videos from us, we didn’t care who you shared it with … as long as you returned it on time,” Blockbuster posted, tagging Netflix.
Blockbuster was a household name and a weekend treat for countless families. With the advent of Netflix and Redbox, video rental chain’s market value began to drop, and the company filed for bankruptcy in 2010. You can still visit the only remaining Blockbuster store in Bend, Oregon.
At its peak, Redbox had 42,000 kiosks at over 34,000 locations. In 2008, the company surpassed 100 million rentals. While Redbox also suffered amid the rise of streaming service, the company is still in business.
Netflix’s plans to open brick-and-mortar shops feels like coming full circle after the company’s meteoric rise in popularity was one of the main reasons physical rental stores permanently closed their doors.
Opening elaborate in-person locations is a significant undertaking when a majority of streaming platforms are struggling to maintain — or achieve — profitability. It’s not known at this time how much the “Netflix House” experience will cost, but customers might be less inclined to splurge if inflation continues to rise. Currently, belts are tightening across the board in response to uncertain economic times. Streaming services are an easy way for households to save some money.