NCR, Blockbuster’s kiosk-manufacuring partner, has announced the expansion of their Blockbuster Express kiosks into Connecticut and Massachusetts in September. According to them, they will have their blue kiosks in all 57 “Big Y” grocery stories by the end of the week (Sept 3).
In addition to the Big Y expansion, NCR says there will be 500 of their kiosks in operation by the end of the month, as they rebrand some of their recently purchased The New Release kiosks in Publix stores throughout the Southeast.
This expansion comes at a time when there is a major fight brewing between studios and kiosk operators. However, Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes supports the efforts of the studios in restricting kiosk rentals to 28 days after release, because it will help his Blockbuster retail locations.
I call foul on Mr. Keyes, who clearly has an agenda against Redbox and other kiosk operators. It is likely him and his lobby that has “suggested” and supported the studios in this recent effort to keep kiosks from competing with his brick-and-mortar Blockbuster business.
While this is all well and good, I think Mr. Keyes – trying to have one foot in two different camps – may get ripped apart in the process. Either that, or he will succeed in keeping his now declining company in the game a little longer. Which will it be?