Dozens more Leicestershire jobs at risk as Blockbuster goes bust
Dozens more Leicestershire shop workers face losing their jobs after DVD rental chain Blockbuster became the latest high street name to collapse.
The company, which has 528 stores, went into administration yesterday, putting 4,190 jobs in jeopardy across the country.
The group, which continues to trade, employs more than 35 people at seven shops in the county.
It has branches in Leicestershire at Abbey Lane, Leicester; Narborough Road, Leicester; Beaumont Leys, Leicester; Loughborough, Coalville, Melton and Market Harborough.
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Blockbuster is the third major high street name to go under in a week.
Entertainment chain HMV, with 223 stores, went into administration yesterday, putting more than 4,000 jobs at risk, including dozens at stores in Leicester and Loughborough.
This came after Leicester-based camera retailer Jessops closed all its 187 stores on Friday, with the loss of about 1,500 jobs, including 177 at its city headquarters and shops in Leicester and Loughborough.
Experts say all three have been hit hard by the double whammy of cheaper online competition and the economic downturn.
Professor Jim Saker, retail lecturer at Loughborough University, said: "It's the same story all the way through. Like HMV and Jessops, Blockbuster was hit hard because you can download or rent via the internet what they offer relatively cheaply.
"Why would you go out in the cold to rent a DVD and then have to take it back again if you can do that? Website operations such as LoveFilm and Netflix came along and Blockbuster just didn't respond."
Lee Manning, joint administrator for Blockbuster and partner in Deloitte, said gift cards would still be accepted by Blockbuster.
Customers responded angrily when it emerged HMV vouchers bought as Christmas gifts could no longer be used.
"In recent years, Blockbuster has faced increased competition from internet-based providers, along with the shift to digital streaming of movies and games," said Mr Manning.
"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.
"The core of the business is still profitable and we will continue to trade as normal in both retail and rental while we seek a buyer for all or parts of the business as a going concern.
"During this time, gift cards and credit acquired through Blockbuster's trade-in scheme will be honoured towards the purchase of goods."
Blockbuster has been a fixture on British high streets since it opened its first store in south London, in 1989.