A VIDEO games and DVD rental firm with stores in the Huddersfield area has gone into administration – putting 4,000 jobs at risk.
Insolvency experts at Deloitte have been appointed to handle the collapse of Blockbuster UK, which trades from 528 shops, including ones at Wakefield Road, Waterloo; Knowl Road, Mirfield; and Northgate, Cleckheaton.
Deloitte said the collapse of the company was driven by competition from internet firms and digital streaming of movies and games.
The Uxbridge-based business, which opened its first store in London in 1989, employs 4,190 staff.
Blockbuster will continue to accept gift cards and credit bought through its trade-in scheme for second-hand movies and games, as well as operating its loyalty scheme.
The collapse comes a day after music and entertainment retailer HMV hit the rocks, with more than 4,000 jobs under threat.
Deloitte is handling both administrations.
It means more than 8,000 retail jobs have been put in jeopardy during the past few days – making it a bleak week for Britain’s high street.
Analysis by retail research body The Local Data Company showed that more than 1,400 shop units have closed or are at risk of closure following the demise of major names such as Stead & Simpson, Jessops, Comet, HMV and Blockbuster in recent weeks.
Lee Manning, joint administrator and partner 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 the business has the best possible platform to secure a sale, preserve jobs and generate as much value as possible for all creditors.”
Deloitte stressed Blockbuster’s core business was profitable and the administrators would be looking for a rescue deal for all or part of the business as a going concern.
Blockbuster’s US parent went bankrupt in 2011, but was rescued by US pay-TV provider Dish Network in a £200m deal, which saved hundreds of stores from closing and prevented tens of thousands of US job losses.
The UK group has sought to branch out in recent years in a bid to revive business, including by expanding its online rental offering and launching a trade-in service for pre-owned titles, allowing members to swap second-hand games and movies for cash or credit on their membership accounts.