There's a new breed of vultures circling a dehydrated Blockbuster.
Sources are telling The Wall Street Journal that a pair of well-known liquidators -- Gordon Brothers and Hilco -- are teaming up for a joint bid on the fading DVD rental chain. They see more value in Blockbuster dead than alive. If the liquidators win the bankruptcy court auction, they will shutter the stores and pick the shelves dry, selling off DVDs and other inventory items.
This is certainly a new wrinkle in the struggling retailer's outlook.
Until now, the list of bidders has included Carl Icahn, South Korea's SK Telecom
However, now there's a real possibility that Blockbuster may go the way of Circuit City or rival Movie Gallery.
If Blockbuster's destiny is liquidation, it's no wonder that Coinstar's
It may be too late to save your corner Blockbuster if it isn't already out of business.
Let's not assume that professional liquidators are the only ones eyeing to obliterate the chain. Private-equity firms or hedge funds can just as easily swoop in and carve out the carcass. Liquidators can get the hard goods. A dot-com heavy can snag the digital service. NCR can grab the brand. The ones left to suffer will simply be the employees, the strip mall landlords, and the three people who still rush out to Blockbuster to rent and return their flicks.
The larger the pool of potential bidders, the higher the potential auction price -- but don't make the flawed assumption that Blockbuster itself gets out of this alive.
Blockbuster gift cards -- if you should happen to be saddled with some -- expire after tomorrow. The Blockbuster chain expiration may come shortly after.
How would you save Blockbuster if you had the top bid? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.