Money Matters with John: The Last Blockbuster

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Ask someone to name their favorite museum and chances are they’ll talk to you about “The MET” in New York City or the Smithsonian in Washington. Both are great but if you ever find yourself near Bend, Oregon you can stop in and see one of the neatest museums on the planet. What’s interesting about this place is there used to be 9,000 of them spread out all over the country but now there’s just the one. Can you guess what it is? It’s a Blockbuster video store.

That’s right, the once popular video rental franchise that went the way of the dinosaur many, many years ago, is almost completely extinct, save for this one last store in the tiny town of Bend.  It’s still around for a couple of reasons. A very nice married couple has owned it for years, love it and have no intention of ever closing it. Also, it has for some inexplicable reason, a large collection of Russell Crowe movie memorabilia. We are talking costumes the actor wore in “Cinderella Man”, “Les Mis” and other fine films. So they have turned themselves into a bit of a tourist attraction.

I’m mentioning this one last Blockbuster as an object lesson in how to survive in the world of money and finance. First, always be looking for what comes next in your industry or you’ll go the way of the velociraptor. There were early warning signs that video on demand and streaming were on the horizon and Blockbuster didn’t adapt or change with the times fast enough.

Second lesson, even if all the others have fallen to the side, if you reinvent yourself you just might survive. That store in Bend, Oregon is living proof. People don’t stop in to rent movies, as much as experience a time gone by. And perhaps see Russell Crowe’s suit from American Gangster. I mean how cool is that? Right!

 I’m John Gray and that’s this week’s Money Matters.

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