Time-lapse Videos Show the Rise and Fall of Iconic American Retail Stores



The rise of major streaming services such as Netflix and online retailers such as Amazon have had a devastating impact on once-booming American classic retail establishments such as Blockbuster Video and Toys“R”Us. This phenomenon is precisely what today’s time-lapse density maps aim to visualize.

These videos come to us from Reddit user /u/V1Analytics. The user created them using Excel, Python, and Blender 2.8. They shared them on the /r/DataisBeautiful Subreddit here and here where they raked in an impressive number of Upvotes at over 90k and 57k respectively.

Blockbuster Video US store locations between 1986 and 2019

Blockbuster Video opened its first retail location in October of 1985, but this time-lapse starts 10 months later in August of 1986. At the time, the company boasted only 5 stores. The company almost immediately saw what can only be described as a viral spread of locations. One year later, there were 68 stores spanning coast to coast and by 2003, the company was hitting its peak at about 5,600 stores nationwide. But after nearly 20 years of steady growth and industry domination, the tides began to turn. The company lost over 80% of its stores with about 1,000 remaining by 2012, and was at about 350 stores at the same time the following year. Today, there is still 1 store (albeit privately owned) in operation in Bend, Oregon.

[OC] Blockbuster Video US store locations between 1986 and 2019 from r/dataisbeautiful

From August to August, here’s a quick yearly rundown of how fast the company spread and how fast it all came crumbling down.

  • 1986 – 5 stores
  • 1987 – 68
  • 1988 – 290
  • 1989 – 794
  • 1990 – 1,234
  • 1991 – 1,578
  • 1992 – 1,899
  • 1993 – 2,251
  • 1994 – 2,587
  • 1995 – 2,942
  • 1996 – 3,285
  • 1997 – 3,645
  • 1998 – 3,934
  • 1999 – 4,468
  • 2000 – 4,978
  • 2001 – 5,240
  • 2002 – 5,433
  • 2003 – 5,569 (notice the decrease in growth from ’02 to ’03)
  • 2004 – 5,690 (still growing … but barely)
  • 2005 – 5,678 (holding steady?)
  • 2006 – 5,315 (over 300 stores lost in 1 year)
  • 2007 – 4,914
  • 2008 – 4,629 (consistently losing 300-400 stores per year; now falling as fast as it was once growing)
  • 2009 – 4,188
  • 2010 – 3,480 (not looking good)
  • 2011 – 2,097 (yikes)
  • 2012 – 1,097 (1,000 stores down in one year!)
  • 2013 – 361
  • 2014 – 44
  • 2015 – 24 (the final stores certainly put up a fight)
  • 2016 – 14 (still holding on)
  • 2017 – 9 (back down to 1986 numbers 30 years later)
  • 2018 – 2
  • 2019 – 1 (and that store is still open today!)

In the end, its reliance on brick and mortar and inability to adjust with the times (Netflix DVD delivery and eventual streaming services) lead to its swift and painful demise.

Toys“R”Us Stores Across the US from 1957 to 2020

And here’s a similar tale from another classic bygone store. For those of you who are too young to remember, Toys“R”Us was the Shangri-La for kids; literally a full size department store FILLED with toys. The nostaliga is real!

It was glorious but simply could not compete with the major online retailers such as Amazon. See for yourself below:

[OC] Toys “R” Us Stores across the US from 1957 to 2020 from r/dataisbeautiful

Surprisingly, as of 2019, Toys“R”Us is trying to make a comeback in the United States.

Now hopefully we can convince V1Analytics to do the same with KB Toys and even Gamestop/EB Games now that they’re on the way out.

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This Map Shows Mobile Data Costs in Almost Every Country on the Planet



Mobile phones truly rule the world – around 91% of people own a mobile phone and 83.32% of people own a smartphone! In fact, you may be reading this on your smartphone right now from the convenience and comfort of your own couch! In order to make the most of our mobile devices, we need access to data. Not all access to data is created equal; the price of one gigabyte of data in one country may be vastly different than another, even if they are right beside each other. So where are people paying the most for their cell phone bill? The team at VoiceNation has created a fascinating visualization of the average cost of cell phone data around the world. Check it out:

Click below to zoom


To put things into perspective, consider that the global average cost of 1 GB of data is $4.07. Compare that to the most expensive country, Equatorial Guinea, where people pay an average of $49.67 for 1 GB! Israel has the least expensive data in the world at just $.05 per 1 GB. What can you do with 1 GB of data? According to, 1 GB of data equals five hours of mobile web browsing, 30 minutes of HD video streaming, five hours of mobile gaming, and 18 hours of music streaming. That means in the most expensive country, it could cost around $200 just to watch a movie on your phone! In Israel, you could watch it for $.20. Overall, this chart is effective at conveying mobile data prices around the world in a quick and compelling way. How much do you pay for mobile data and where do you live? We would love to hear from you in the comments!

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Which Cities Truly Never Sleep? This Chart Shows the Cities With the Most Night Workers



The world never truly sleeps – humans are working hard around the clock trying to make a living, provide for their families, afford their hobbies, or just make it to the next meal. While many of us are blissfully sinking into our pillows, night shift workers are just beginning their “day” of work. A typical night shift, or third shift, involves working from 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM or 5 PM to 2 AM. So where are these night workers most abundant? NapLab has created a chart exploring the U.S. cities with the most people working night jobs. Before you scroll down, take a guess at the top city. I did my first time discovering it – I’ll share my answer below!

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My initial guess was Detroit, Michigan. I have never been, but something about it just oozes “burning the midnight oil”. What was your guess? Comment below! In reality, the top city with the most night workers is Las Vegas, Nevada, which actually makes absolute sense considering its reputation for a dazzling, chaotic and never-ending nightlife. 16.53% of Vegas’ workforce works the night shift! After all, you would never expect a city with the monikers “Sin City”, “Neon Capital of the World”, “Entertainment Capital of the World” and “City of Light” to become a quiet little hamlet once the sun sets. I felt a little better when I discovered that my guess, Detroit, ranks 28th with 11.93% of the workforce manning the night shift.

Overall, I appreciate the overall feel of the chart – the colors convey the topic exceptionally, and the header is lovely and eye-catching. I have never seen this data visualized before, so I appreciate the opportunity to learn something new about the culture and economy of America.

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U.S. Cities Where Home Prices Have Increased the Most Since the Pandemic



The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted prices and expenses across the board. From groceries to living costs, most people are feeling a hit to their wallets. Housing costs in particular have been rising exponentially. Where in the United States have they been rising the most?

The following visualization shows where in the U.S. home prices have increased the most since the pandemic. The graphic utilizes a pin map at the top to indicate where each of the cities are located, and then uses a column range chart to depict the change in home prices between January 2020 and July 2022.

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These are the cities that have seen the biggest increase in home prices since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020:

  1. Cape Coral, FL: 85.96%
  2. Round Rock, TX: 80.94%
  3. St. Petersburg, FL: 76.92%
  4. Port St. Lucie, FL: 72.88%
  5. Clearwater, FL: 71.09%
  6. Surprise, AZ: 69.93%
  7. Nampa, ID: 69.69%
  8. Tampa, FL: 69.35%
  9. Austin, TX: 69.05%
  10. Gilbert, AZ: 68.54%

Unsurprisingly, since many employees are now allowed to work from home, warmer locations have become popular places for relocation. This could play a part in why home prices are increasing in states like Florida and Arizona.

On the flip side, these are the cities where home prices have risen the least since the pandemic:

  1. Odessa, TX: -1.98%
  2. Midland, TX: 6.27%
  3. Washington, DC: 10.47%
  4. San Francisco, CA: 11.27%
  5. Las Cruces, NM: 11.35%
  6. New York, NY: 12.95%
  7. Laredo, TX: 15.85%
  8. Boston, MA: 15.91%
  9. Minneapolis, MN: 16.72%
  10. Shreveport, LA: 16.96%

Odessa, TX is the only place where home prices have decreased. Major cities like San Francisco, New York City, and Boston have also experienced low levels of home price increases, likely due to many people leaving large cities during the pandemic.

Which city on the list is most surprising to you?

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