Blockbuster administrators to shut 129 stores and shed staff

 
Kasmira Jefford
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BLOCKBUSTER, the DVD and games rental chain, is to close 129 stores of its 528 stores over the coming weeks and make 760 staff redundant, the firm’s administrators Deloitte said this weekend.

These are on top of the 31 store closures that had already been decided before the retailer fell into administration last Wednesday.

Deloitte said it is continuing to review the profitability of Blockbuster’s remainining stores and more closures may follow across the chain, which employed 4,190 staff at the time of its collapse.

Lee Manning, joint administrator, added: “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.”

Blockbuster is owned by its US parent company, which in turn was bought out of bankruptcy in 2011 by US satellite television company, Dish Network.

The beleaguered chain was forced to call in administrators after losses widened from £8.5m in 2011 to £11.2m last year.

It owners injected more funds into the business in the autumn so that it could pay suppliers but trading conditions worsened over the Christmas period and the company was forced to call in administrators.

Like HMV, Blockbuster has faced increased online competition from internet based rental companies along with the shift to digital streaming of movies and games.