Fears for jobs as DVD and video giant Blockbuster goes into administration
ABOUT 60 jobs are thought to be at risk in Derbyshire after DVD and video games rental firm Blockbuster UK went into administration.
The firm is the latest in a growing list of high-profile retailers to hit trouble, with HMV announcing earlier this week that it had gone into administration, camera firm Jessops closing its shops and the collapse of electrical retailer Comet.
Administrator Deloitte is blaming Blockbuster's trading woes on competition from internet firms and digital streaming of movies and games.
But it stressed Blockbuster's core business – which still has two million active members – was profitable and it would keep all 528 stores open while seeking a buyer.
Blockbuster employs 4,190 people nationwide and it is understood about 60 people are employed at several stores in Derbyshire, including Ashbourne Road, Derby, Alvaston, Oakwood, Ilkeston, Ripley, Matlock, Alfreton, Long Eaton and Chesterfield. It also has an outlet at Burton.
Deloitte partners Lee Manning, Matthew David Smith and Neville Kahn have been appointed as joint administrators of the firm, which is headquartered in Uxbridge, London.
Mr Manning, who works in Deloitte's restructuring services practice, said: "In recent years Blockbuster has faced increased competition from internet-based providers, along with the shift to digital streaming of movies and games.
"We are working closely with suppliers and employees to ensure that 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 whilst 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."
Earlier this week, music chain HMV, which employs around 15 people at its store in Albion Street, Derby, confirmed it had appointed Deloitte as administrator.
Like Blockbuster, HMV has struggled to compete with internet retailers and supermarkets, which are able to sell CDs and DVDs cheaper.
But HMV chief executive Trevor Moore said he was confident the business still has a future.
In the meantime, its stores have stopped accepting vouchers and gift cards.
Last week, camera chain Jessops, which had a store at The Spot, in Derby, closed with the loss of five jobs.
And last month, Comet shut its store at the Kingsway Retail Park, in the city, after administrators failed to find a buyer for the chain. That closure resulted in the loss of around 20 jobs.
George Cowcher, chief executive of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said: "The collapse of Blockbuster is another shock for the High Street, particularly coming so soon after the recent problems faced by HMV, Jessops and Comet.
"It illustrates how tough the climate is for retailers, who are coming under increasing pressure from falling customer footfall, the huge growth in online spending and the consumer shift toward digital technology.
"In general, there is still growth in the economy, but it's clear that some sectors are faring better than others at the moment."