At first glance, supermarket chain Safeway (SWY) would seem to have little to do with movie-rental company Blockbuster. But it turns out that Safeway owns several of the multiple-tenant shopping centers that contain Blockbuster stores slated for closure.

As a landlord, the supermarket has filed a motion to try to ensure that Blockbuster's liquidation plans don't disrupt neighboring businesses at Safeway-owned shopping centers and that the closing stores remain adequately maintained. The company wouldn't confirm where it filed the motion, but Home Media Magazine reported that the motion was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, and that the properties are in California and Oregon.

"We're just trying to ensure that reasonable conditions are met," Safeway spokesman Brian Dowling says. He stressed that his company isn't suing Blockbuster and that "many" of Blockbuster's landlords have filed similar motions. Blockbuster representatives declined to respond to a request for comment from DailyFinance.

Blockbuster in September filed Chapter 11 as part of a plan to slash the company's debt from almost $1 billion to an estimated $100 million. The video-rental chain has been hurt by growing competition from companies like Netflix (NFLX), which stream DVDs through the Internet and deliver them through the mail, and Coinstar's (CSTR) DVD-kiosk division Redbox. Blockbuster also continues to struggle to pay off the debt it incurred when it spun off from former parent Viacom (VIA) in 2004.

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Good luck with that request Safeway, you are an unsecured creditor, the space will be left as is where is after Blockbuster strips the store of anythign of value, it will be up to the landlord to maintain the space.

January 05 2011 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Unfortunately and fortunately, Blockbuster had the foresignt to close many stores, until the economy is more stable.

January 05 2011 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I prefer Blockbuster to Netflix. They are helpful and efficient. I always like to rent from a place that I can see and talk to.

January 05 2011 at 12:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Please learn to spell, AOL. Are the 's in the article title short for "is" or meant to indicate possession. duh

January 05 2011 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Safeway should of known better> Blockbuster is just that a block0buster! hello this is the 21st century and people can watch movies on line and at netflex!hello Safeway! stick to high price groceries and your wonderful employess benefit program!

January 05 2011 at 10:12 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Blockbuster hurt there selfs years ago when they got greedy and raise there rental prices out of the reach of the avag Family in my arey you had to join a blockbuster club and movies where any where from 3.99 to 5.00 to rent they had it made they were the only ones around at the time these were Taps not DVD WELL FOLKS ITS CAME BACK TO BITE THEM IN THE ASS, I SAY LET THEM GO UNDER.
I don't understand some Big comp they get a something that people like, the first thing they do is keep raiseing the price till people stop buying it, wow
wonder why.

January 05 2011 at 10:05 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

The truth is - less than 10% of American homes use services like Netflix.

I rent from Blockbuster all the time. The people that work there and rely on the paycheck to feed their families - are my neighbors.

January 05 2011 at 8:39 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Well, thats a little rich of safeway. Afterall, I've seen dozens of old empty safeway stores over the years.

January 05 2011 at 7:58 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to kv37's comment

Realy I have work for Safeway for years now on the East Coast Wash DC Md and VA I don't know of any old Empty safeway stores in this arey Please Enlighten me where you have seen these Empty Stores thank you for letting us know about this.

January 05 2011 at 10:14 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

They call them Randall's and other names now, but it is Safeway.

January 05 2011 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Blockbuster needs to go out of business. Several years back, their late charge for one day exceeded the initial rental fee for three days, and this was a huge rip off. I quit doing business with them that very day, as, I am sure, countless others did too.

January 05 2011 at 7:15 AM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply

safeway needs to rot in hell. they are the worst company in existence. they treat the workers like sweatshop workers. they rip off charities to build more stores. what kind of a company is that ?

January 04 2011 at 10:16 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply