The once-thriving video store rental business continues to shrivel.

Dish Network, which bought the ailing Blockbuster in 2011, is closing 300 stores and laying off 3,000 workers over the next few weeks.

The Charleston area will lose three stores, including the last ones in Mount Pleasant, North Charleston and West Ashley, according to a local store employee.

Four stores will remain open in the area that was once saturated with Blockbuster shops. Those on James Island and in Summerville, Goose Creek, and Moncks Corner will continue to operate.

No final closing date was announced.

Blockbuster will be left with less than 10 percent of the 5,700 stores it operated in 2005.

Video-on-demand services, low-price movie rental kiosks and Netflix movies by mail swamped the video store market in recent years.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or