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Blockbuster jobs at risk as DVD rental chain goes into administration
4:42pm Tuesday 29th October 2013 in News
DOZENS of jobs have been put at risk in Dorset after DVD rental chain Blockbuster went into administration for the second time in a year today.
Private equity group Gordon Brothers Europe said 32 jobs will be cut at the chain's Uxbridge headquarters, while 264 stores nationally are at risk as a buyer is sought.
In the Daily Echo’s area, there are branches at Holdenhurst Road in Bournemouth, Wimborne Road, Moordown, Bargates in Christchurch, Blandford Road, Hamworthy, Oakdale, Ashley Road in Parkstone and Poole Road in Westbourne.
There are also two in Wimborne.
Each store employs an average of eight people, putting 65 to 70 jobs on the line.
The chain plunged into administration in January, before being bought by Gordon Brothers in March. At the time of its initial collapse the group had 528 stores in the UK employing 4,190 staff.
Mandy Payne, president of Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said she was sad to hear of the fresh blow to Britain’s High Streets.
“It’s obviously very sad news,” she said.
“We can hope that buyers are found for our local branches.”
She said “support mechanisms” are in place for Bournemouth businesses, including the BH Recruitment initiative, which helps those looking for work in the town.
“Unfortunately, people just aren’t watching movies in the same way anymore,” said Mandy.
“A number of CeX stores have opened up that sell second-hand games and films, and they seem to be doing very well. People are also going online to download films and buy them from Amazon too. It is very difficult for companies who rent DVDs these days.”
Gordon Brothers said its turnaround attempts for the historically loss-making company coincided with a patch of poor trading across rental and retail sales.
It said stores will continue trading but some may need to close if a buyer cannot be found, adding that it tried to turn around the chain by restructuring, investing in marketing and negotiating new deals with landlords.
But it failed to broker a licensing deal with US company Blockbuster LCC, which owns the brand, for a new digital platform.
Efforts will now focus on “giving the company a chance of future survival through a reduced and different business model in the hope that a buyer will be found”.
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