Staff face uncertainty at six East Lancashire Blockbusters stores

First published in News

STAFF at six East Lancashire Blockbuster stores face an unknown future after the DVD and games rental firm went into administration.

The announcement the company was in serious trouble came just a day after entertainment store HMV was also on the verge of collapse.

Administrators Deloitte, who are handling both administrations, said it plans to keep all Blockbuster’s 528 stores open while seeking a buyer.

The firm has stores in Great Bolton Street, Blackburn; Blackburn Road, Accrington; Burnley Road, Padiham; Kay Street, Rawtenstall; Wellgate, Clitheroe; and George Street, Chorley.

The business, which employs more than 4,190 employees, blamed the firm’s trading woes on competition from internet firms, and digital streaming of movies and games.

This week’s casualties add to a recent run of retailers to collapse, following the demise of camera chain Jessops and electricals group Comet, which also cited competition from online players as a major reason for their downfall.

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

Lee Manning, joint administrator and partner in Deloitte’s restructuring services practice, said: “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.”

Deloitte stressed Blockb-uster’s core business, which still has two million active members, was profitable.Blockbuster’s US parent went bankrupt in 2010, but was rescued the following year by US pay-TV provider Dish Network in a $320million deal, which saved hundreds of stores.

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