Blockbuster to close 129 stores, Deloitte says
Closures won't take place immediately but 760 staff face a redundancy
By CFOWorld.co.uk staff | CFO UK | Published 11:04, 21 January 13
DVD and games rental firm Blockbuster, which entered administration on 16 January, is to close 129 more stores, administrators Deloitte have said.
Blockbuster had already given 31 stores a notice of closure and had closed over 100 stores prior to entering administration. It currently has 528 stores and employs 4,190 staff by last count. Deloitte said 760 staff faced a redundancy, but the closures will not be taking place immediately.
Commenting on the situation, Deloitte administrator Lee Manning said, “Having reviewed the portfolio with management, the store closure plan is an inevitable consequence of having to restructure the company to a profitable core which is capable of being sold.”
“We would like to thank the company's employees for their support and professionalism during this difficult time. We are also grateful to the customers for their continued support,” he added.
Manning also revealed that a dedicated employee helpline had been set up along with an staff assistance programme to help those staff facing redundancy in finding other jobs.
Blockbuster, a US chain, first entered the UK market in 1989. It went bankrupt in the US in 2011 but was rescued by pay-TV provider Dish Network in a US$320 million deal. The UK arm is also owned by Dish Network but run as a separate entity. The DVD and games rental firm has followed a string of UK High Street names into administration including JJB, Comet, HMV and Jessops.
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