Blockbuster Video is fighting Netflix by taking advantage of its resources, and it might be yet another act of desperation from the retailer. Blockbuster has been trying to compete with the Netflix brand, which had a head start over Blockbuster in attracting customers to online DVD renting. But, one thing Netflix doesn't have is stores, and Blockbuster has finally realized that this is an advantage they have over Netflix. Now, Blockbuster is allowing its online renters to return discs to their stores, giving customers a free in-store rental as an incentive, and also promoting the fact that this sort of return speeds up the time that customers will be sent the next movie in their online queue.
Personally, I don't have the kind of free time that I need my next movie sent to me so quickly, and with Netflix, I generally get my next disc within two days of dropping the last one in the mailbox. But, Blockbuster probably realizes that some incentives don't necessarily have to affect all customers directly in order for them to be appreciated and seem appealing. Considering that most people I know wouldn't be able to get to a Blockbuster store until the evening, I don't think that a whole lot of customers are really going to be getting their next disc more quickly every time. Regardless, Blockbuster's online service has been increasing in membership tremendously this year, so it seems their strategies are working.
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