Children of the 1980s and 1990s rejoice, as one of our most beloved brands - Blockbuster - may soon be returning. That’s if there’s anything to be taken from a cryptic tweet recently posted on the company’s official Twitter page.
Earlier in March, a tweet was posted to the account which read: “New business idea: We’re going to come back as a bank and use VHS and DVDs as currency. Time to go visit your mom.” The tweet has over 6,000 likes and 300 comments from people who are excited at the prospect of the firm being seen on our high streets again - and are also delighted at the thought that they may finally be rewarded for hanging on to all those old videos and DVDs for years.
For those who are not familiar with Blockbuster, there was a time before streaming and on-demand services when if you wanted to watch a film or play a video game you either had to go to a shop to buy it or visit your local Blockbuster where you could rent it for a length of your choosing. This could be between one and 14 nights - for a specified price. It was much cheaper than buying it outright, and there was nothing quite like the feeling of searching through the shelves on a Friday or Saturday night for the perfect thing to entertain you over the weekend.
The prospect of its return - though not in its original form as the tweet would suggest - has got us thinking about other companies which have made incredible comebacks over the years. Click through our gallery to see which brands almost didn’t make it but are now some of the most popular around. You may just be surprised.
Netflix is now one of the biggest streaming platforms around. Millions of people across the UK now use Netflix to watch a variety of films and TV shows, including original content available exclusively through it. But, Netflix was not always so popular. It started back in 1998 as a DVD subscription service and its USP was that it sent the DVDs directly to the customer so they didn’t have to go to a store to collect it themselves - ironically it was a rival to Blockbuster. By 2011, it was also offering content to be streamed online and decided to separate the two branches of the business. Customers didn’t like this because it meant that they had to pay for two separate services and they lost around 80,000 subscribers as a result. People soon forgave Netflix, however, when they started to produce their own exclusive content and subscribers returned in their millions.
Apple is one of the biggest technology companies in the world so it’s hard to imagine there was ever a time when its success was in any doubt. The company actually let go of its founder, the late Steve Jobs, in 1985 and almost went bankrupt as a result. Microsoft’s Bill Gates then invested $150 million in the company, not wanting to have a monopoly in a market with no competition, which ultimately saved it from bankruptcy. In 1997, Jobs returned to the firm and moved the focus on it away from computers and on to other tech like phones. The first iPhone was released in 2007, and people still queue for hours to get the latest model today.
Starbucks was founded in Seattle, US, over 50 years ago - but the brand name has become synonymous with questionably good coffee worldwide. It was hit hard during the 2008 recession as customers opted to make their own coffee at home as they no longer had the same disposable income. The company had to shut hundreds of its coffee shops worldwide and hundreds of members of staff were also made redundant. The company rescued itself by interacting with their customers via social media and encouraging them to share their thoughts on everything from the products sold to the music played in stores. They implemented over 100 customer ideas and gained customer loyalty in return.
Disney is arguably the most iconic company name when it comes to children’s entertainment, and it seems shocking that there could have been a world without Disney films in it. The original company, Walt Disney Animation Studios, was started by Walt and Roy Disney. They gave us the characters of Mickey and Minnie Mouse and classic films such as Bambi and The Little Mermaid. But, the company had declining success over the years, and it wasn’t until the company acquired Pixar in 2006 that fortunes started to improve again. Some of the best Disney Pixar films include Monster’s Inc, Finding Nemo and Inside Out. Disney Pixar. Walt Disney Animation Studios have also produced some critically acclaimed films in more recent years too, including Frozen.