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Last Blockbuster stores to close 12 December 2013

The final nail has been driven into the coffin of DVD and video games rental company Blockbuster, as administrators have announced the last 91 UK stores are set for closure.

Joint administrators Simon Thomas and Nick O’Reilly of Moorfields Corporate Recovery LLP today (12 December) announced that the last round of store closures will see 808 staff made redundant.

Since the company entered administration again at the end of October, approximately 150 stores have been shut down and 1,200 employees have lost their jobs. That total will reach over 2,000 when the final stores cease trading on 16 December.

In a statement, the administrators said: “It is with regret that we have to make today’s announcement, we appreciate this is a difficult time for all concerned and would like to thank staff for their professionalism and support over the past month.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to secure a buyer for the group as a going concern and as a result had to take the regrettable action to close the remaining stores.”

Blockbuster collapsed into insolvency in January after facing serious competition from online rental and video streaming competitors, before being acquired by the subsidiary of Gordon Brothers Europe in March.

Administrators had carried out previous store closures and redundancies as they sought to find a buyer for the company, but received no “acceptable” offers.

Simon Thomas used Blockbuster as an example to call for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to tackle the issue of business rates as retailers continue to struggle.

Thomas said: “We believe that the Chancellor should not only freeze current business rates but an acceleration of the review of rateable values.

“Blockbuster would have faced an increase of £75,000 on an already sizeable £3.8m, a figure which highlights the significant hurdles facing retailers and pushing many over the edge.”

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