Blockbuster UK rescued, 2,000 staff and 264 stores to stay

The ailing high street chain has been sold, and will keep about half of its staff, as well as promising new products and technologies.

Blockbuster is staying on the high street. The ailing renter went into administration at the start of this year, and was bought by Deloitte. Now Deloitte says it's flogged the chain to an investment company called Gordon Brothers Europe, Reuters reports.

264 of Blockbuster's 528 shops will stay open, and 2,000 workers will keep their jobs, which is about half the firm's workforce. New technology is also on the cards, so we could see it beef up its online offering to compete with the likes of Netflix and Lovefilm.

"This transaction provides Blockbuster a future in the UK," Deloitte's Lee Manning said.

Gordon Brothers will make a "substantial" investment in the stores, including "new products" and "new technologies". Gordon brothers' chief executive officer Frank Morton said in a statement: "We acknowledge the industry is in transition; we know we have a challenge ahead but there is still a market to be served."

BlockBuster first came to the UK in 1989, and was soon a common sight on every high street. In recent years it's lost out to competition from online rental companies, iTunes, and more people choosing to pirate movies than pay for them. Last month came news that just 204 Blockbuster branches would stay open , but thankfully that's wide of the mark after today's rescue. About 200 of its shops have closed.

It's not the only one to suffer though. The British high street has been decimated of late, with Woolworths, Dixons , Comet , Jessops and HMV all taking a battering. HMV has closed 66 stores and no longer sells goods online, while Jessops will exist purely on the web from now on.

Does Blockbuster still have a future in the UK? What new technologies would you like to see it implement? Do you get all your movies online nowadays? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.


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