East Anglia: Jobs to go with closure of Blockbuster stores in Ipswich, Mildenhall and Clacton

The administrators of Blockbuster have confirmed the identity of 72 stores which are to be closed.

The administrators of Blockbuster have confirmed the identity of 72 stores which are to be closed. - Credit: PA

Eight Blockbuster stores in the East of England are to close with the loss of more than 50 jobs, the administrators of the troubled DVD rental chain have confirmed.

The doomed stores include the branches in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich (which currently has a workforce of eight), St Andrdew’s Street, Mildenhall (seven), and Old Road, Clacton-on-Sea (eight),

Other branches to be axed in the region included those in King’s Lynn (where five people are currently employed), Wisbech (six), March (five), Bedford (seven) and Watford (eight).

The stores are among 72 Blockbuster outlets to be closed across the country, with a total of 452 job losses, following the company’s collapse into administration for the second time this year.

Joint administrators Simon Thomas and Nick O’Reilly of Moorfields Corporate Recovery, said today: “The decision to close some stores has not been taken lightly.

“However, the remaining stores remain open for business and we are continuing to market the business for sale as a going concern. Currently we are offering attractive discounts which are generating additional sales.

“We want to be as open and transparent as possible throughout this process and will hopefully be in a position, within the next seven days, to provide staff and customers with another update very shortly.”

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Blockbuster stores in Felixstowe, Lowestoft, Newmarket, Halstead, Braintree, Colchester and Chelmsford are not affected by the today’s announcement although their long-term future depends on a buyer for the business being found.

The closures represent around a quarter of Blockbuster’s current total of 264 outlets and about 2,000 staff.

Moorfields announced last week that it was to close 72 stores but the details of the locations affected were only released today.

Blockbuster previously fell into administration in January this year, at which time it had 528 stores and employed 4,190 people.

It was rescued in March by private equity group Gordon Brothers Europe but is said by the current administrators to have suffered continued poor trading since then, across both rental and retail sales.

Although the administrators say parts of the business have attracted interest, some potential buyers are thought only eyeing up store sites to be taken over in the same way as Morrisons snapped up 49 former outlets earlier this year as part of its convenience store expansion.

One of these, in St Matthew’s Street, Ipswich, reopened as a Morrisons M local, earlier this week, creatinig 20 new jobs.