UPDATED – Blockbuster stores around the Wichita area continue to close — and more closings are planned — but neither the local owner nor anyone with corporate will discuss it.
“Legally as per our franchise agreement with Blockbuster Corporate I am not allowed to comment on any issues regarding Blockbuster,” Ryan Wasinger of Major Video of Kansas said in an e-mail.
Major Video is part of Fugate Enterprises.
Patty Sullivan, a spokeswoman for Blockbuster nationally, said in an e-mail: “Blockbuster does not comment on any individual store closings. We have previously stated that we are in the process of recapitalizing the company and reducing the number of stores in the U.S. is part of that effort.”
There are several new stores planned for various Blockbuster spaces.
It looks like Cindy Warren is planning to bring two shoe stores to the former Blockbuster space near 21st and Maize.
Warren owns Heads Village Shoe Store at Douglas and Oliver, Fair Village Shoe Store at 2407 W. 13th St., the New Balance shoe store at 1720 N. Webb, and the Little Feet Boutique children’s shoe store adjoining Heads.
It sounds like the store at 21st and Maize will be divided into a New Balance and possibly a Heads store. It does not look like any of Warren’s current stores will be closing.
Across town at Kellogg and Rock, the Blockbuster on the southeast corner apparently will be closing, and Mattress Firm is negotiating to take the space.
One of Mattress Firm’s current Wichita stores is in Eastgate Plaza just east of the Blockbuster at Kellogg and Rock.
It appears that the Mattress Firm deal isn’t done yet, but the New Balance and Heads deal is.
The Blockbuster at 21st and Amidon in the Twin Lakes Shopping Center and one near Maple and West also are closing, though there’s no word yet on what may replace those stores.
The Blockbuster on East Harry closed earlier this year. It was a lease, and it looks like the store simply closed when the lease was up.
Employees at the dozen or so Blockbusters in the area have been instructed not to discuss anything related to the closings.
Look for more news on the shoe stores and Mattress Firm soon.