Are big box retailers like BestBuy about to become extinct?(and did streaming kill them?)

urlEver since the first purchase was completed online there have been rumors about the death of brick and mortar chains. Some turned out to be somewhat true, Amazon put a pretty big dent in retail bookstores, but eBooks changed the dynamic completely  so making a proper comparison is best left to the statisticians. Circuit City found out the hard way that there wasn’t room for 2 electronics superstores (usually a few hundres yards from each other). Lately, I have been reading about new gaming consoles that are about to debut. The big rumor is that both XBOX and the PS4(?) will include streaming games too. That is where I began to think about the effect streaming has had on the retailers  I haven’t purchased a movie on physical media in over a year (thanks Netflix and iTunes). I haven’t bought a song on physical media in over 5 years and I haven’t bought a song as a traditional download in 2 years thanks to Rhapsody. Can these brick-and-mortar stores endure yet another blow if all games will be streamed or downloaded to the new consoles? I don’t think they can. In the case of BestBuy in particular, I think they already know there is going to be a problem.  If you look at their floor-plan an ever increasing footprint is dedicated to appliances, personal health gadgets and TV’s, but even that may not be enough to keep them alive. How may chains do you think are about to die because of just this phenomenon?

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