Dish Network Wakes Up; Realizes It Bought Blockbuster

In April 2011, Dish Network bought bankrupt Blockbuster, which remains the craziest purchase since AOL bought Time Warner. Many financial analysts and retail property managers wondered what Dish Network would do with the locations. Nearly a year later, an answer appears to be emerging. They are closing them at about 200 outlets a quarter. From a property management perspective, though, the locations remain attractive candidates for perspective tenants. The stores occupy 5,000 to 6,000 square foot usually with a controlled-access point (i.e., stop light). The location is usually on the end cap of a strip mall or a free-standing location at the edge of a parking lot. Blockbuster generally leased the store as a vanilla or white box, which required them to add HVAC and bathrooms. The now-vacant store would be considered a warm shell.

As a consequence, prospective tenant should expect to pay less in rent because they are leasing a warm shell.

Most of these soon to be vacant 500 Blockbuster stores will be leased by either fast casual or quick serve restaurants. Automotive parts retailers would also lease many of these outlets. The remaining (100?) outlets will sit vacant while the landlord waits for the right tenant.