Blockbusters joins High Street administration surge

DVD and video games rental firm Blockbuster has become the second High Street name to enter administration within the last two days.

The company, which has 528 stores across the UK employing 4,190 staff, joins music retailer HMV which appointed administrators Deloitte on Tuesday.

They both follow in the wake of the rapid collapse of camera chain Jessops, which closed all of its 187 stores within two days as administrator PwC failed to find a buyer with the loss of 1,370 jobs.

Lee Manning, joint administrator and partner in Deloitte's restructuring services team, 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.

'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. During this time gift cards and credit acquired through Blockbuster's trade-in scheme will be honoured towards the purchase of goods.'

Deloitte said it will now take over the day to day running of the firm while it tries to find a buyer.

Blockbuster now joins electrical retail chain Comet - which collapsed just days before Christmas - in the growing litany of UK High Street doom.

Blockbuster, which opened its first UK store in 1989, had already shut scores of its stores in the past few years as it baulked in the face of the growing online threat from firms that operate postal DVD rental schemes. Viewers can also download content direct from streaming service.

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