The UK arm of film and videogame rental company Blockbuster has followed HMV into administration. Sky News claims that the company, which employs more than 4,000 people across its 528 UK stores, has called in the administrators – and has chosen Deloitte, the same company called in by HMV on Monday.
Deloitte’s Lee Manning said: “We are working closely with suppliers and employees to ensure the business has the best possible platform to secure a sale, preserve jobs and 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 parts of the business as a going concern.”
Echoes of HMV, then – but Manning goes on to say that Blockbuster will accept gift cards and store credit while a buyer is sought. That’s in stark contrast to HMV, which despite continuing trading while Deloitte seeks a buyer, has stopped accepting gift vouchers. This led one frustrated grandparent to storm out of a branch in Dublin yesterday with three games in hand despite store staff refusing to accept his €40 voucher.
If anything, Blockbuster did well to last as long as it did, with postal and digital distribution an obvious threat to its business and its US wing filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2010. Blockbuster bought UK retailer Gamestation in 2002, selling it to Game in 2007 – which, of course, went into administration itself last year.