It seems the tape really is chewed for film rental chain blockbuster, after its administrators Deloitte announced that a further 164 stores will have to close with loss of around 800 jobs. The closing down premises will remain open for a while after the announcement in order to give customers a chance of returning any items they have on loan.
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.’
He also kindly added: ‘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.’ This reporter has at least two friends who are hoping the whole thing will be kaput before they have to pay their late return charges, so we don’t know how supportive customers are really being…
Blockbuster’s demise comes amid a flurry of high profile business collapses on the high street. Since October, electrical chain Comet; camera retailer Jessops; music retailer HMV and clothing retailer Republic have all gone into administration. Republic’s collapse was only formally acknowledged a few minutes before the Blockbuster job losses were announced.
Still it seems employees are being treated with at least a bit of empathy, as the administrators have set up a helpline for staff made redundant and are running an assistance scheme to help them find a replacement job.