Almost seven years after Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy, the decline and fall of video stores is hardly shocking news. And yet new data compiled by Yelp reveals the degree to which these businesses have been massacred by the rise of video streaming.
The company looked specifically at the San Francisco Bay Area and found that in 2007 there were 800 stores listed in the Yelp video store rental category. Today, the number in that category: 320.
“The San Francisco Bay Area decline of video and game stores has been steep,” says the Yelp report. “No other category ever that had at least 50 Bay Area businesses has ever seen the number of open stores fall by a higher percentage since 2008, according to Yelp data.”
Again, the trend is hardly shocking. But the degree of impact is still startling.
Of course, it’s tempting for Silicon Valley to want to high-five this example of disruption. But it’s worth noting that beyond just the local jobs lost, those bricks-and-mortar stores would have paid sales taxes that benefited local municipal governments. Those city halls get nothing from streaming services.
On a broader scale, the decline of retail in general has accelerated over the past couple of years, as has been well documented in recent months amid massive layoffs by national retailers and the shuttering of malls.
Indeed, Yelp found that there have also been large drops in the number of maternity stores, gay bars, and media outlets (gulp!) in the Bay Area over the past decade.
Looking for a silver lining? Yelp says that there has been an increase in the category of videographers and video production services.