“Everything must go,” said store manager Litisha Jones, who has worked for Blockbuster for 21 years. “We got the word on Sept. 4. It was very emotional. I didn’t sleep for two days after I was told.”
The store at 865 Tracy Blvd. first opened its doors in June 1999, Jones said, and signs to advertise its closing were posted Sept. 10.
It was one of the last video stores in the city to offer new and used movies and video games for rent.
Another Blockbuster, at 1212 W. 11th St., shut its doors in December 2009, and in June 2010, Hollywood Video closed at 1920 W. 11th St.
Jones said the closure of the Tracy Boulevard store is the result of a lack of customers on weekdays and more people choosing to watch movies online.
“During the weekend, it’s awesome,” she said. “It’s a commuter town, and they don’t watch videos during the week. Netflix or Redbox doesn’t have anything to do with it. There’s so much you can do at home.”
As customers learned about the closure, she said, some called customer service to complain.
“I hear, every day, people saying, ‘Let’s sign a petition,’” she said. “They are very disappointed. They’re shocked, upset.”
Customers shopping at the store this week expressed disappointment about the decision to close the store.
“I didn’t realize they were closing,” said Sandy Troche of Tracy. “It’s kind of sad. Everything is going to Netflix. I like that you can go in and browse. That’s too bad.”
Tracy resident Randy Burnett said he went to the store to take advantage of the clearance sales, accompanied by his 4-year-old grandson. He said he used to visit Blockbuster often before opening a Netflix account.
“It’s never a good thing for businesses to close with the economy,” he said. “My daughters had Blockbuster cards and rented a few movies. They’ll probably miss it.”
The entire store is being liquidated by Oct. 25, including the video display racks and televisions, Jones said. The store is advertising 40 percent discounts off DVD prices and prices of $3.99 or less for used videos.
The store will close on Oct. 31.
The Tracy store is the only Blockbuster slated for closure in the San Joaquin County area, Jones said. A store in Stockton, at 5608 N. Pershing Ave., remains open.
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