KAHULUI - Blockbuster Video in Kahului is apparently the latest victim in a series of planned companywide closures that was announced earlier this year.
Blockbuster spokeswoman Sara Blue said in an email Tuesday afternoon that the last day of business for the Kahului store will be Nov. 11, although a worker indicated the store will close by Nov. 8 or earlier if merchandise sells out.
Blue did not say how many employees worked at the Kahului store but said, "The employees will be offered a position at the other store based off of their desire to relocate and if we have positions open."
The Kahului Blockbuster Video store will close by Nov. 11, or earlier if merchandise sells out. The store is no longer renting movies and video games and is currently in liquidation. The closure is apparently part of a companywide move announced this year to close those that are not performing well.
The Maui News / MELISSA TANJI photo
Wailuku resident Jemah Lung-Gat finds the movie “Hitch” on sale at Blockbuster Video in Kahului. The Wailuku resident knew about the pending closure and wanted to find some deals and DVDs.
The Maui News / MELISSA TANJI photo
She indicated that the Kihei store is still open. She added that Blockbuster evaluates the profitability of each location, so some stores close when leases are up. On Oahu, the Kailua store will close on Nov. 18, Blue said.
Five Blockbuster stores will remain open in Hawaii, according to Blue.
"Blockbuster is evolving with customer needs," she added.
The Kahului store is more than a decade old and was once a place many people frequented on weekends. Now, the store is in liquidation and is no longer renting movies and games, signs indicated.
Large "store closing" signs hung on the windows, and inside the store DVDs and video games were marked down 10 to 30 percent, with prices hovering around $3.99 and higher according to signs. Some store fixtures were for sale.
Paia resident Mary Cochran was surprised to see the store's closing signs when she and her husband came to rent DVDs Tuesday morning.
But she said she understood that the days of DVD store rentals have passed and called the closure the "sign of the times . . . everything is online."
But Cochran said she preferred to go to a store where she could physically peruse the aisles and titles.
"I rather come here," she said.
Wailuku resident Jemah Lung-Gat showed up at the store already aware of the closure.
She said she came to check out the sale and find the movie "Hitch" on DVD, which she found.
Lung-Gat said she wasn't a patron of Blockbuster and instead turned to the online/kiosk Redbox rentals that can be found at various stores.
Earlier this year, the Dish Network Corp, which acquired the Blockbuster video-store chain last year, said in an annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it plans to close more than 500 Blockbuster stores this year.
The closures would leave Blockbuster with about 1,000 retail stores.
A spokesperson earlier this year said the stores that will be closed are those that are not performing well.
Dish Network bought Blockbuster out of bankruptcy court for $234 million in 2011.
Blockbuster had filed for bankruptcy when it couldn't counter the threat posed by Netflix, whose DVD-by-mail service and expansion into the Internet video streaming revolutionized home entertainment.
The Kahului store hours are from 11 a.m. to about 7 p.m. weekdays, a worker said. Weekend hours vary, he added.
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at email@example.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.