Note to Blockbuster Employees: Run!
Employees at the 5,500 remaining Blockbuster stores would do well to get out now. It seems that you're being replaced by a red box and a mail carrier. Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in September 2010, but is having trouble reorganizing, and will likely be sold at auction, according to some analysts.
Strangely enough, Blockbuster employees are their own worst enemies. They've become an expense that puts Blockbuster behind the financial eight ball. What was once the world's premier video rental chain is having a tough time competing with upstarts like Netflix, which delivers via the U.S. mail, and Redbox, which rents videos via coin and credit card operated kiosks set up in malls, grocery stores, etc. Neither Netflix nor Redbox require even a tenth of the expensive manpower that Blockbuster does.
Then there's the expense of rental, and costly upkeep of all the Blockbuster brick-and-mortar stores -- other fees not shared with its most prominent competitors. Even financial geniuses like billionaire Carl Icahn and Monarch Capital, which are also creditors, are having a hard time figuring out how to get the Blockbuster ox, out of the mire.
The close to 50,000 employees who have adopted a "wait and see" attitude would be well-advised to dust off their resumes and start looking for other opportunities. Video rental stores seem to be going the way of the brick-and-mortar bookstore.
Still, being sold at auction does not guarantee that your store will be closed down, but you can bet there will be an awful lot of restructuring and belt tightening, and it's an absolute certainty that many jobs will be lost -- probably sooner rather than later.
Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want. Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets. Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.