Last week Blockbuster U.K. announced that it would be entering administration and begin looking for a buyer for its 528 stores across the U.K. Today, the real process of closing up shop has started and store closings have been announced.
Deloitte, the firm administering Blockbuster, has announced that 160 Blockbuster stores in the U.K. will be closing. The possibility of more store closing announcements in the near future was not ruled out.
“Having reviewed the portfolio with management, the store closure plan is an inevitable consequence of having to restructure the Company to a profitable core which is capable of being sold,” said Lee Manning joint administrator of Blockbuster U.K at Deloitte. “We would like to thank the company’s employees for their support and professionalism during this difficult time. We are also grateful to the customers for their continued support.”
The closings mean around 1,000 Blockbuster employees will soon be out of work or shuffled to other stores. The stores won’t close immediately, however, and a hotline has been put in place to help employees find other work.
In the meantime, the closing stores will remain open for business. Customers will get to enjoy “closing down promotions” as the stores close.
Competition from online retailers and the rise of streaming digital media are causing increasing difficulties for physical retailers. British retailers HMV and Game Group have also entered administration within the past year.