Blockbuster to close 164 stores, 800 jobs under threat

Another 164 Blockbuster stores are to close, threatening 800 jobs and leaving the ailing chain with less than half its stores.

Another 164 Blockbuster stores are to close, threatening 800 jobs and leaving the DVD and game rental chain with less than half its stores surviving.

The latest round of closures is on top of 160 closures already announced. That takes the number of doomed Blockbuster stores to 324, leaving just 204 branches remaining of the 528 open when Blockbuster first went into administration.

The branches earmarked for closure will stay open for the time being, but there's no word on how long for. Fear not though -- stores will inform customers ahead of time to give you opportunity to return rented items. Returning items to a company that's about to go under, that'll definitely be at the top of the to-do list.

In the meantime, the Blockbuster website has a clearance sale, including a deal to get you 6 pre-owned DVDs for £10 -- and we're talking proper recent movies like True Grit, Star Trek and Bridesmaids.

The administrators were called in in mid-January and are currently searching for a buyer to see if Blockbuster can continue trading.  

Blockbuster's administration is handled by Deloitte, which ushered Comet to the great high street in the sky last year and is also currently administering to ailing music and movie shop HMV. HMV is closing 66 stores in the UK , threatening nearly 1,000 jobs, and abandoning Ireland completely at the cost of 300 jobs.

Meanwhile camera emporium Jessops, which has disappeared from the high street, is to reopen online after buyers -- including Dragons' Den tellypreneur Peter Jones -- snapped up bits of the brand.

Will you miss your local Blockbuster? Have you switched to online movies and TV? And how can Blockbuster survive? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.


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