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Blockbuster's Prototype Stores Look Like Best Buy

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If you ever drunkenly stumble into one of these prototype Blockbuster stores in Dallas, you'll wonder why Best Buy has stocked up on so many movies and ditched the inkjet printers. These proto stores, or storetotypes, lay out little kiosks in the middle and test interesting concepts that have a tenuous relationship to renting movies such as:

• Opening up at 6 a.m. for people to rent stuff on the way to work and not watch it until they go home, thus perhaps losing the desire they had to watch that movie in the first place
• Selling cappuccino or fountain drinks (like at 7-11)
• Giving away free Wi-Fi and Rock Band play sessions on a 62-inch TV.
• "Offering new technology for watching movies, reading books or shooting video at a Blockbuster." We're not sure what this means, but it's probably selling gadgets like Best Buy.

Good idea? Bad idea? It's hard to say right now. On the one hand, Blockbuster employees these days don't actually know anything about movies and don't roam the aisles helping you find something you'd like. They're just there restocking shelves and ringing you up, both jobs that could be done much better by a computer connected to a robotic arm. [Dallas News]