Goodbye to the era of the dropbox, the blue-and-yellow membership card, and the bag of movies you might fight over on the couch.
"I'm never surprised when brick and mortar stores go out of business these day," said Mike Gottlieb, who was renting movies at a Blockbuster in Fair Lawn, N.J. “Because there's so many alternatives on the internet."
Indeed, the number of people watching DVDs on any weeknight has dropped by a third in just four years. At the same time, DVR playback at home has grown. Three times as many people now watch DVR playback as DVDs, according to research from Horizon Media.
Blockbuster has been declining for several years and filed for bankruptcy in 2010. Still, it kept several retail stores.
"You know when you close a store, it costs money,” said David Strasser, a managing director at Janney Capital Markets. "Getting things out of the store marking down inventory, just doing all the things to leave that store flat, status quo can sometimes just last a long time."
Other companies have also hung on in a weakened state before closing their stores for good. Linens n’ Things, Circuit City, and Borders Books all suffered similar fates.
Analyst Michael Pachter said retailers selling just one thing are facing an uphill battle in the internet age.
"There's really no reason for specialty retail," he said "unless they offer something you can't get elsewhere."
The weather and demand from China are driving prices up. But how do you say the word pecan? NPR's Melissa Block gets answers from a pecan farmer and a linguistics expert.
Dish Network announced this week that it will shutter the 300 or so remaining Blockbuster stores it owns across the country. But in some places, dozens of the video stores will have an unlikely afterlife.
For more than a century, French law has allowed stores to open on Sundays only under specific conditions. It also tightly controls other types of Sunday work. Several stores are now challenging that ban, as people question the tradition amid a languishing economy and a 24/7 world.
The rules require most health insurance plans to provide the same coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment as they do for other types of ailments. Coverage also has expanded under the Affordable Care Act, but not everyone benefits.
Finding out how much an X-ray costs sounds like a simple question. But before Oct. 1, it was downright impossible to get an answer. Now, Massachusetts is pulling back the curtain on what has been a largely secret world of health care prices.
It may be possible to cultivate a healthier community of bacteria on and inside us by modifying our diet. For starters, eating more vegetables probably won't hurt.
Many health insurers must treat coverage of mental health and substance abuse in the same way they handle treatments for physical illness, according to a new rule issued Friday by the Obama administration.
In this week's round-up of tech coverage from NPR and beyond, we look back on Twitter's big debut, All Things Considered's week of innovation stories from California and Google's reveal about its mystery barge in the San Francisco bay.