Volume 17 • Issue 19 | October 01 - 07, 2004

A Blockbuster of a store for Tribeca

By Divya Watal

Blockbuster, the multibillion-dollar video and DVD giant, is slated to open a new store in Tribeca on Monday.

The store, located at Greenwich and N. Moore Sts., displays the customary Blockbuster logo with a large sign saying, “Here we grow again.”

“This is a new concept store,” said Ken Crivello, Blockbuster’s regional director of operations for New York.

Due to space constraints in Tribeca, the store has been squeezed into a narrow building, and the area normally demanded by a Block-buster store has been halved.

“We’ve organized things differently,” explained Crivello. Instead of placing video and DVD boxes on shelves, which occupy a lot of space, they display laminated cards of the movie’s cover art. Customers will present the cards at a counter and receive boxed movies stored at the back of the store.

This will be the first “Blockbuster Express” store in the U.S. The company has tested the small space concept in Europe.

“We want to become a part of the local community,” said Crivello. He added that they had already received a positive reaction from people in the area.

A handful of residents passing by the store were unanimous in their approval.

“I think it’ll have an excellent impact,” said Jason Laberbera, a Greenwich St. resident. “It’s been a long time coming. There are no other movie stores in this area.”

“We need this [Blockbuster] here,” said another resident, Aida Reyes. There was a family-owned CD store at the Blockbuster site, her husband Eddie added, but the owners moved away because of rent hikes.

Do they resent having a corporate chain store in their neighborhood?

“We think it’s a great idea,” the Reyes’ chimed. “It shows this area is growing and doing well.”

Blockbuster has 20 other stores in Manhattan, all of which follow the large space standards of the company.

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