Business News Retail

Blockbuster back in administration

By | Published on Wednesday 30 October 2013


Apparently Blockbuster enjoyed its journey into administration earlier this year so much, it’s going back. Similarly, I found that once I’d visited Whitby, I was always planning another trip.

The UK version of the DVD rental chain and entertainment retailer first went into administration back in January, just after the HMV company fell over. But it was bought out administration by private equity firm Gordon Brothers in March, and although the rescued Blockbuster chain was 200 stores smaller, the new owners talked of taking the rental side of its business online LoveFilm style, and then expanding its product range in-store, including moving more into music retail. Former HMV exec Gary Warren was then appointed MD. I know, right?

Those plans officially faltered this week, with the private equity owner confirming it was putting the company back into administration and seeking a new buyer.

Gordon Brothers said in a statement that it had “striven to turn around the historically loss-making company by restructuring the business, investing significantly in strategic marketing activities and negotiating with the landlords of its retail outlets. The company also tried to develop a new digital platform but was unable to broker a licensing deal with Blockbuster UK’s parent company in the US. Regrettably, the months since the acquisition have also coincided with a period of poor trading performance across both rental and retail sales”.

32 employees in Blockbuster’s UK HQ will lose their jobs as part of the new move into administration, though the firm’s remaining 264 stores will stay open for the time being while a buyer is sought.