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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Real Estate Chart Reveals Your Money Has Only 50-80% of the Buying Power it Did 5 Years Ago



Houses aren’t cheap these days. In fact, they are so not cheap that millions of young Americans are holding off on buying a home and are instead opting to rent for the foreseeable future. “Just how bad is it?”, you might be wondering. Well, this new visualization from construction app maker Builder Pad forces you to look at the problems the United States is facing in the real estate market in an entirely new way. From this perspective, you are able to see how much smaller a house you’ll be able to afford today vs. 2018 for the same amount of money. So, how much smaller has a $500,000 home become in your state?

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In order to reveal which states have the fastest-rising real estate prices, Builder Pad analyzed median listing prices by state in two distinct ways. First, is by percentage of square feet lost over the five year period between 2018 and 2023. The state that was hit the hardest in this metric is Montana where a $500K house is now 50.15% smaller. Just typing that out blows my mind.

The second metric used in this study is square feet lost over the same 5-year period. The state that lost the most square feet in a $500,000 house is Kansas with a drop of 2,280.26 square feet. That’s the equivalent of losing five (5!) two-car garages in living space. With virtually no end in sight for this real estate conundrum, what will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back?

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Which Countries Produce the Most Gemstones?



Gems like rubies, emeralds, and diamonds are found in jewelry all over the world. Some countries are known for their prolific gemstone production. Do you know the countries are the biggest sources of each gemstone?

BriteCo, a jewelry insurance company, analyzed data from the U.S. Geological Survey and the International Gem Society to visualize the countries that produce the most of each type of gemstone.

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The graphic utilizes a world map to show which country produces the most of many different types of gems. The visualization also includes beautiful depictions of each gem included on the map as well as the kilograms of gemstones produced between 2016 and 2020.

These are the top-producing countries of some of the most popular gems:

  • Amethyst: Zambia (4,465,166 kilograms)
  • Diamond: Russia (22,720 kilograms)
  • Emerald: Zambia (129,400 kilograms)
  • Garnet: Tanzania (765,768 kilograms)
  • Pearl: Burma (9,245 kilograms)
  • Quartz: Brazil (69,830,000 kilograms)
  • Ruby: Tanzania (99,000 kilograms)
  • Sapphire: Kenya (45,339 kilograms)
  • Topaz: Nigeria (77,793 kilograms)
  • Turquoise: Iran (105,000 kilograms)

Overall, the top producer of gems around the world is Tanzania. The country is the top producer of six gemstones on the list (aquamarine, garnet, ruby, sunstone, tanzanite, and tourmaline). In fact, the name tanzanite was given to the gem by jewelry giant Tiffany & Co. in the 1960s to highlight how it can only be found in Tanzania. The mining area for tanzanite is just 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) long and 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) wide in the Manyara region of Tanzania. Tanzanite was named as a December birthstone in 2002 by the American Gem Trade Association.

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The Most Promiscuous Countries in the World



Wondering where in the world you’re most likely to get some action? The NapLab team created a Global Promiscuity Index that compares different factors including average number of sexual partners, STD rates, mean age when virginity was lost, and how much of the population finds premarital sex morally acceptable. See which country ranked highest!

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The visualization utilizes a heat map of the world to show which countries rank highest and lowest on the list. Underneath the world map is an explanation of how the scores were calculated as well as a breakdown of all the data for each country that is included.

The country that earned the top spot on the promiscuity list is Australia, with an index score of 360.14. The mean age that Australians lost their virginity is 17.9, and the average number of sexual partners is 13.3. 81% of people think that premarital sex between adults is not a moral issue. Prostitution is also legal in the country.

Of the 45 countries included in the graphic, the country that ranks last on the list is India. The mean age when residents lose their virginity is 22.9 and the average number of sexual partners is 3. Only 21% of people in India think that premarital sex is morally acceptable.

The following are the top scores for each of the factors included in the ranking:

  • Mean Age Virginity Was Lost: Iceland (15.6 years)
  • Average Number of Sexual Partners: Turkey (14.5)
  • STD Rate Per 100,000 People: South Africa (32,054)
  • Percentage of People Who Think Premarital Sex is Morally Acceptable: France (94%)

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