Directors of Blockbuster announced they had called in Deloitte as administrators — the same firm appointed to try to salvage the remnants of HMV. Lee Manning, restructuring partner at Deloitte, said: “In recent years Blockbuster has faced increased competition from internet-based providers along with the shift to digital streaming of movies and games.”
Blockbuster has 528 stores in the UK. Manning said they would remain open as efforts begin to seek a rescuer.
“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,” he said.
Unlike HMV, Blockbuster intends to continue honouring gift cards.
The US parent company, based in Colorado, has been struggling for several years. It filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010 and was subsequently taken over by Dish Network. In October, Dish Network’s chairman, Charlie Ergen, conceded that efforts to turn around Blockbuster were taking time.
“You make a lot of mistakes in business,” Ergen told Bloomberg. “I don’t think Blockbuster is going to be a mistake, but it’s unclear if that’s going to be a transformative decision.”