Blockbuster UK is the latest retailer to go into administration, putting more than 4,000 jobs at risk. The DVD/game rental firm owned by the satellite broadcaster Dish Network has appointed Deloitte to seek a buyer.
Blockbuster, which includes 528 stores across the UK, confirmed on Wednesday that all the stores would continue to trade as normal until Deloitte seeks it a buyer. Customers can heave a sigh of relief as Deloitte has assured that any vouchers given to the customers will be honoured at the stores.
“The core of the business is still profitable, and we will continue to trade as normal in both retail and rental whilst we seek a buyer for all or parts of the business as a going concern,” proclaimed Lee Manning, joint administrator and partner in Deloitte’s Restructuring Services practice. “During this time gift cards and credit acquired through Blockbuster’s trade-in scheme will be honoured towards the purchase of goods,” he added.
Blockbuster UK, struggling against competition from Tesco, Amazon and Apple’s iTunes, is the third retailer which has fallen prey to the onslaught of the digital revolution after Christmas. The news of Blockbuster UK administration comes just days after HMV collapsed into administration.
92-year-old music retailer HMV also appointed Deloitte to seek it a buyer, as its 238 stores continue to trade as normal in the meantime. Before HMV, Jessops announced administration last week, resulting in 1,370 job losses. Last year, collapses of the Comet electronics chain, JJB Sports Plc, Game Group Plc and Clinton Cards Plc struck a blow to Britain’s retail sector.
The Local Data Company said the recent closures added up to the worst period for the High Street it has seen. “The administration and potential closure of over 1,400 stores in less than a month far surpasses Woolworths’ 807 in January 2009,” said director Matthew Hopkinson. “The big question is how many more retailers are struggling out there to the point of administration?” he added.