Demise of Blockbuster UK looms

December 5
8:06 AM 2013

After 24 years, Blockbuster video rental stores will be closing shop as efforts to find a buyer by the company's administrators have failed. The administrator, Moorfields Corporate Recovery, had sent the video rental company's 62 outlets to closure, according to a Bloomberg report.

Blockbuster has 153 outlets in the UK. Since Moorfields Corporate Recovery was appointed as the administrator on November 11, it had already closed over 100 stores. The administrator said no acceptable bids were made for Blockbuster's outstanding 91 units, which are also in danger of closing. The report added that over 1,200 jobs would be lost if all of Blockbuster's remaining stores would be shuttered. This would bring to 2,000 the number of jobs lost since the appointment of the administrators, the report said.

The upcoming closure of Blockbuster's UK chain came just one month after Dish Network Corp announced that it would be closing Blockbuster's remaining 300 stores in the US. Dish Network is the owner of Blockbuster in the US. It had originally intended to keep 90% of the video rental firm open after acquiring it in a bankruptcy auction in 2011 in a USD 320 million deal.  

According to the report, Blockbuster has been a fixture of shopping streets in the UK since 1989 despite the competition given by Netflix and other streaming video services. Just nine months ago, private equity company Gordon Brothers Europe acquired Blockbuster UK out of administration. However, its efforts to revive the unprofitable business proved futile. Last month, Blockbuster was again under the management of the administrators.

Blockbuster is the most recent brand to fold from the shopping streets of Britain as chains like Comet electronic stores and Woolworths variety outlets have also succumbed to closure. The report said a sluggish economy, high rent and increased online competition had led to the closure of more stores.

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