Thursday, 26 November 2015

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Cumbrian Blockbuster shops to close

Administrators have confirmed that the Blockbuster stores in Carlisle and Whitehaven are among the latest batch earmarked for closure.

Blockbuster shop photo

The DVD and video games-rental firm went into administration last month.

The administrators initially announced 160 store closures, including the branch in High Street, Annan, which is due to shut on Sunday.

They announced a further 164 closures last week and have since confirmed that the outlets at Old Raffles Parade in Wigton Road, Carlisle, and at King Street, Whitehaven, are among them.

These stores are likely to shut in March, although the exact date has yet to be confirmed.

All the staff employed there face redundancy.

A telephone helpline has been set up for their benefit, alongside a programme to help find new jobs.

The remaining north Cumbrian Blockbuster branches at Cornmarket, Penrith, and Murray Road, Workington, are safe for the time being as administrator Deloitte continues to seek a buyer for the business.

“It is not ruling out further closures, however.

Joint administrator Lee Manning said: “We have continued to review the performance of individual stores since our appointment and have concluded further closures are necessary to restructure the company for sale. We are in discussions with a number of parties interested in purchasing all or parts of the business and will update on progress in due course.”

It emerged on Monday that supermarket chain Morrisons is buying 49 Blockbuster branches, mostly in the South East, to convert into M Local convenience stores.

Blockbuster opened its first store in London in 1989.

It grew to have 528 outlets and employ 4,190 staff.

Its collapse has been blamed on competition on the digital streaming of movies and games from rivals such as Netflix, Amazon’s LoveFilm and iTunes, which now offers a movie-rental service.

Deloitte says that Blockbuster’s gift cards and credit vouchers are being honoured.


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