It turns out that Blockbuster (BBI) franchises across the country are starting to bring back late fees. That’s right, after a huge advertising campaign boasting about no more late fees, many consumers will find them coming back. Why have store owners decided to bring them back? With the program in place, people just keep movies out for weeks at a time, and as a result there isn’t enough inventory in stock to satisfy new release demand.
In the long term, this will be a non-event. We’ll all have a library of thousands of movies at our fingertips via on-demand services at home. In the shorter term though, it will be interesting to see how Blockbuster’s financials are affected. Will the increase in high-margin fee income more than offset the loss of customers who came to Blockbuster because of the lack of late fees? Probably. However, even though franchise owners can choose whether or not to charge late fees, company-owned stores will continue without them, for now at least.