If you'll recall it was Bloomberg News, not The Wall Street Journal, that broke the news last week that downtown-based Blockbuster was talking to bondholders about extending the video-rental company $150 million in loans should the debt-ridden company have to file for Chapter 11. But as soon as The Journal's piece hit the fan late last week, so too did the stock price, which on Monday hit a 52-week low of 17 cents before rebounding to, at this very moment, 29 whole pennies. Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes tells The Journal only today that the talks with creditors are part of the company's "contingency planning" should it have to file for bankruptcy, since $40 million of its $900 million debt is due July 1 and the company's only got about $110 million in cash on hand.
Which brings me to this: This morning I passed by the Blockbuster at Inwood Road and W. Lovers Lane, a longstanding location. As you can see, it was just rebranded a Blockbuster Outlet -- that's how they answer their phones. The transition's been taking place over the last week, and inside it looks like a going-out-of-business sale -- see for yourself on the other side. Everything's piled high and selling low. But employees insist that location is not among the many Blockbuster's shuttering. It's just an outlet now, one of four in the area.
I called the store to do a follow-up. I was referred to the customer care line, a maze of instructions that ultimately landed me on hold long enough to grow a full head of hair. I hung up. Besides, what do you really need to know: Blockbuster needs money. And it'll raise it one discounted Blu-ray disc and paperback book at a time. Help out a struggling local company. Stock up now. It's Christmas in June.
Update at 3:25 p.m.: I just found Blockbuster's list of outlet stores, posted Friday. There are four in the DFW, but the Inwood location is the sole outlet in Dallas. The other three are in Irving, Fort Worth and Richardson.
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