Blockbuster administrator to close 129 stores

The Northern Echo: Blockbuster is to close 129 stores Blockbuster is to close 129 stores

COLLAPSED DVD and games rental firm Blockbuster is to close 129 of its 528 stores in the coming weeks and make 760 of its 4,190 employees redundant, its administrator confirmed today.

Thirty-one stores have already been put on notice of closure with a number of closing-down promotions announced.

Lee Manning, of administrator Deloitte, 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."

The administrator said an employee helpline and an employee assistance programme are in place to help staff find other jobs.

The firm's trading woes were blamed on competition from internet firms and digital streaming of movies and games.

Blockbuster had struggled to adapt to the changing market and rivalry from internet retailers including Netflix, Amazon's LoveFilm and iTunes, which now offers a movie rental service.

The devastating impact of the internet on Britain's high street had already been laid bare with the demise of camera chain Jessops and electricals group Comet, which also cited competition from online players as a major reason for their downfall.

Blockbusters' administration came just a day after music and entertainment chain HMV went under, following dismal Christmas sales.

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