DOZENS more jobs have been put at risk in Dorset after DVD and game rental chain Blockbuster went into administration.
In another big blow to the High Street, Deloitte, which is handling the administration, said the collapse was driven by competition from internet firms and digital streaming of movies and games.
It comes just two days after HMV also called in Deloitte to handle its administration. Last week, photography chain Jessops shut its doors.
Blockbuster has 528 stores in the UK, employing 4,190 staff.
In the Daily Echo’s area, there are branches at Holdenhurst Road in Bournemouth, Wimborne Road, Moordown, Bargates in Christchurch, Blandford Road, Hamworthy, Wimborne Road, Oakdale, Ashley Road in Parkstone and Poole Road in Westbourne. There are also two in Wimborne.
With each store employing an average of eight people, that places around 65 to 70 jobs at risk in the area.
Nigel Hedges, president of Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: “Obviously despite the fact that Bournemouth’s trading has been, in most fields, strong over Christmas, January is always the crunch time and national stores that have failed and left Bournemouth were out-trading other places, but the national structures of these stores is not robust enough to cope.
“We’re very sad to see the narrowing of the High Street offers in all of our trading suburbs and the loss of employment.”
When the Echo contacted them, staff at two of Poole’s three Blockbuster stores denied that the chain was in administration yesterday afternoon.
Richard Wilson, chairman of Ashley Road Traders Association, said: “It’s a devastating blow. I feel sad at all the job losses and the loss of the company, but also the loss of trade is going to be devastating in Ashley Road.”
Bournemouth town centre manager Roger Parker told the Daily Echo trade in December had been "disappointing". You can read more about that here.