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UK: Jobs fears as Blockbuster collapses

17:57 16 January 2013

A Blockbuster video store in London

A Blockbuster video store in London

DVD and video games rental firm Blockbuster UK has gone into administration, putting more than 4,000 jobs at risk.

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Administrators Deloitte said the collapse was driven by competition from internet firms and digital streaming of movies and games.

The Uxbridge-based business trades from 528 outlets employing 4,190 staff.

Blockbuster will continue to accept gift cards and credit bought through its trade-in scheme for second-hand movies and games, as well as operating its loyalty scheme.

The collapse comes a day after music and entertainment retailer HMV, hit the rocks, with more than 4,000 jobs under threat.

Deloitte stressed Blockbuster’s core business was profitable and it would be looking for a rescue deal for all or part of the business as a going concern.

More than 8,000 retail jobs have been put at risk during the last two days alone in a bleak week for Britain’s high street.

Deloitte said around 66 people are employed across Blockbuster stores in the region, and average around five a store.

They include three Ipswich stores in Felixstowe Road, St Matthews Street and Woodbridge Road, and others at Felixstowe, Colchester, Clacton-on-Sea, Lowestoft, Mildenhall, Newmarket, Saffron Walden, Stowmarket and Thetford.

Joint administrator Lee Manning said: “In recent years Blockbuster has faced increased competition from internet-based providers along with the shift to digital streaming of movies and games.

“We are working closely with suppliers and employees to ensure the business has the best possible platform to secure a sale, preserve jobs and generate as much value as possible for all creditors.”

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  • Terrible news for employees and shareholders but an inevitable consequence of changing technology and ways of doing business. The same happened to farriers and smiths when horse drawn canal boats and coaches were replaced by motor cars, steam trains and diesel powered omnibuses but it is the speed of change that is the most difficult to get to grips with.

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    Steve Blake

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

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