Block­buster UK ad­min­is­tra­tors to shut 129 stores, cut 760 jobs

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

LON­DON: En­ter­tain­ment re­tailer Block­buster UK will shut 129 of its 528 stores and make 760 out of its 4,190 em­ploy­ees re­dun­dant, the firm's ad­min­is­tra­tors said in the lat­est bad news for Bri­tain's gloomy high streets. Blok­buster, which is owned by U.S. satel­lite TV com­pany Dish Net­work (DISH), went into ad­min­is­tra­tion, days af­ter mu­sic and DVD re­tailer HMV did the same.

"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," Block­buster ad­min­is­tra­tor Lee Man­ning of Deloitte said in a state­ment. The 129 store clo­sures, which will take place grad­u­ally over the com­ing weeks, are in ad­di­tion to 31 store clo­sures that had al­ready been de­cided prior to ad­min­is­tra­tion, the state­ment said. "The joint ad­min­is­tra­tors con­tinue to re­view the prof­itabil­ity of the store port­fo­lio and an­nounce­ments of fur­ther clo­sures may be made in com­ing weeks," it said. Block­buster is the third ca­su­alty in the Bri­tish retail sec­tor since Christ­mas, af­ter HMV and cam­era chain Jes­sops. Many spe­cial­ist re­tail­ers are strug­gling against com­pe­ti­tion from su­per­mar­kets like Tesco, on­line stores like Ama­zon and down­load sites like Ap­ple's iTunes. Bri­tish re­tail­ers are also suf­fer­ing from Bri­tain's pro­tracted eco­nomic trou­bles, with lit­tle wage growth for con­sumers whose bud­gets are be­ing squeezed by govern­ment aus­ter­ity mea­sures.

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