Blockbuster Video latest retail giant to bite the dust

In the latest string of once-venerable American companies failing to adapt to the changing ways of the currently volatile economy climate, Blockbuster Video announced on November 6 that their few remaining retail outlets will officially shutter by year's end – a move that is arguably the final nail in the coffin for brick-and-mortar video rental. The business's parent company, the satellite television provider DISH, is expected to lose more than 2,800 employees due to the closure.

"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," said Joseph P. Clayton, DISH president and chief executive officer, in an official statement. Along with the rental stores, the company's by-mail delivery service will also cease to operate, and the future of the Blockbuster brand remains uncertain.

When DISH first purchased Blockbuster back in 2011, the company was in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings, though they still operated more than 1,500 locations and employed more than 15,000 people. Before DISH stepped in to take over control of Blockbuster, the chain had intended to stay operating independently thanks to a group of investors led by activist Carl Icahn and several hedge funds. However, the team never reached a consensus on how the business would operate and ultimately sold the company to DISH at a major loss.

According to Reuters, Icahn had written in a letter to the Harvard Business Review in 2011 that Blockbuster was the "worst investment I ever made."

The whole sad saga of the demise of this American enterprise shows that investors need to not only be wise about their business dealings, but do all they can to get asset protection in these troubling times.