LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Dish Network Corp. Wednesday announced it will shut down all remaining Blockbuster LLC. retails stores.

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The video rental chain has approximately 300 stores in the United States that will be closed by January 2014, resulting in 2,800 poeple losing employment, Dish officials announced.

“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” Joseph P. Clayton, Dish president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business, we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings.”

Blockbuster By Mail, a by-mail DVD distribution service, will serve existing customers until its scheduled end in mid-December.

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Domestic and international franchise stores will remain open for business.

Blockbuster, which had more than 9,000 stores in 2004, filed for bankruptcy in 2010. Dish Network acquired the company in 2011 and will retain licensing rights to the Blockbuster brand, including its video library. It will also continue Blockbuster @Home and On Demand services.


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