Blockbuster To Close 164 High Street Stores

Blockbuster To Close 164 High Street Stores

Blockbuster will shut 164 additional shops over the coming weeks as part of a "phased closure", it has been confirmed.

Administrators Deloitte said the closures were part of an ongoing portfolio review and discussion with landlords and "interested parties" over its 528 shops.

Joint administrator Lee Manning said: "We have continued to review the performance of individual shops since our appointment a month ago and have concluded that further closures are necessary in order to restructure the company for sale.

"We would like to thank the company's employees for their support and professionalism during this difficult time and we are also grateful for the continued support of customers."

The remaining stores will continue to trade as usual whilst administrators progress negotiations with bidders.

It said stock would be offered at promotional rates to "supplement" what was "already on offer across the estate".

Staff in the stores affected by the closures will now face redundancy.

The administrators have set up a dedicated employee helpline and are running an assistance programme to help the affected staff find other jobs.

Since being appointed, the administrators have examined the viability of the group's stores and targeted those they say hamper a restructure of the company.

Stores due to close down are expected to remain open for business and customers will be notified in advance of final closures so they can return rental items.

The additional closures were announced just minutes after it was confirmed that high street retailer Republic had called in administrators.

Republic's demise is the latest in a string of British high street casualties in the last few months.

Music and entertainment retailer HMV, camera specialist Jessops and electricals chain Comet have all gone into administration since October.

Deloitte was appointed joint administrator to Blockbuster's UK arm on January 16.

:: Affected employees should contact the helpline on 0845 302 2547.

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