News Article

UK Retailer Blockbuster to Close All Remaining Stores This Weekend

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

The end of an era

It's been clear in recent years that the high street environment is becoming increasingly challenging in the entertainment market, with video games retail enduring its share of problems. Major U.S. retail groups have battled dropping revenues — perhaps eased with recent hardware releases — while GAME had a spell in administration in the UK before finding new owners. Although not exclusively a games retailer, confirmation of the demise of Blockbuster in the UK sees a previous source of game rentals and purchases disappear.

Blockbuster UK initially entered administration in January 2013 before a takeover by Gordon Brothers Europe — yet the company entered administration again in late October, with its traditional business of renting movies and games having failed to successfully transition to conventional sales. Its been an exceptionally difficult year for the brand, with hundreds of store closures leaving just 91 outlets and 808 staff remaining. Unfortunately, the administrators have now conceded defeat, informing BBC News that all remaining stores will close this weekend.

It is with regret that we have to make today's announcement, we appreciate this is a difficult time for all concerned and would like to thank staff for their professionalism and support over the past month.

Unfortunately, we were unable to secure a buyer for the group as a going concern and as a result had to take the regrettable action to close the remaining stores.

All stock in the stores will be sold at a 90% discount this weekend; we pass our best wishes to all staff affected.

[via eurogamer.net, bbc.co.uk]

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User Comments (28)

Aqueous

#1

Aqueous said:

Its been dead in canada for years, I'm surprised it was still on going else where. Too bad I suppose.

rjejr

#2

rjejr said:

I hate when businesses go out of business - and all the front line guys lose their jobs - weeks before Christmas. I'm sure all the upper echelon guys will still get their bonuses and golden parachutes but the people who actually work for a living usually wind up screwed.

Reala

#3

Reala said:

Pretty sure there aren't any left in my area and haven't been for years now, so no discount games and movies for me I'm afraid, the fact it actually lasted up until now in some capacity though is pretty good going really.

unrandomsam

#4

unrandomsam said:

Its 90% off if you can find one. The one near me closed months ago. (Along with the Gamestation that actually had pleasant staff unlike the City Centre Game.) Only one left is Grainger Games shows how useless Game are really if they cannot survive with all the extra privileges they get but Grainger can in the same shopping centre.

daveh30

#5

daveh30 said:

BB's closing out sales were great when they went under in Canada... picked up 20+ blu-rays and half a dozen Wii and PS3 games... spent less than $50. Was even better than the time I cleaned out the Lego isle at Zellers when they closed. I wish retailers would go out of business more often!

craigmoss19

#6

craigmoss19 said:

OMG! 90% off sale! The closest one to me is just a 30 minutes walk away. Bargain time!

sinalefa

#7

sinalefa said:

This is the world we live in. The store closes, and while some people feel sorry for the employees that lose their jobs, others only think of getting cheap things.

electrolite77

#9

electrolite77 said:

@sinalefa

Yes. it's very sad for people losing their jobs above you a week before Christmas but the post above yours includes the words 'OMG!' and 'Bargain time!'. Very depressing.

Tasuki

#10

Tasuki said:

Truly this is the end of an era. Brick and mortar video stores just can't compete with services like Netflix, or Redbox.

I had alot of good memories of Blockbuster during the SNES, PS and PS2 eras. Heck I got most of my Virtual Boy collection from them when they were clearing them out.

A sad day indeed.

Bulbousaur

#11

Bulbousaur said:

The Blockbuster near me closed down years ago. its sad to see them go, and I think my family used them a couple of times when I was younger. Condolences to all those that lost their jobs...

R.I.P Blockbuster, I will always remember that one Wii Points Card I bought from you, that led me to Majora's Mask :(

Neoncp20

#12

Neoncp20 said:

As I am sorry for the employees of these few remaining stores, I gotta say I'm happy to see Blockbuster as a company fail. Their whole business model was a giant rip off! Here I will rent you this game for 10 bucks, but if you lose it you can't buy it oh no it will cost you 10 dollars every week until you find it. Or here comes a sequel to a movie better put all the other older ones in that series on the "New Release" rack and charge premium prices. Finally the highway robbery ends.

Phantom_R

#14

Phantom_R said:

I didn't know Blockbuster was still around--I haven't seen one in the US in well over a decade. Oh well. It's always sad to see someone going out of business, especially just before Christmas, but that's just how the world works. Markets have to evolve.

GuruOfGreatness

#15

GuruOfGreatness said:

It's always sad to hear of a business going under, despite what people may think of their business practices, pricing, staff, product etc etc etc. I myself have never really had much to do with Blockbuster. For the past 14 years or so, I know (where I am at least), that it was either cheaper, or about the same price, to go and buy a game or DVD as it was to rent it, so renting became pointless. I can only remember 4 transactions with Blockbuster my entire life, and that was renting "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" for the PS1 back in the late 1990's, same again with WWF Attitude for PS1, then buying WCW/NWO World Tour for the N64 in the late 90's, and then buying two copies of ZombiU, brand new for £2.80 each in their 75% off everything sale about 3 weeks ago.

Relias

#16

Relias said:

Still have maybe a couple Blockbusters in my area.. Of course there are the Kiosks around. (One right up in front of the local Quicktrip as a matter of fact) Usually if you find one it is somewhere where there are not to many Red Boxes or perhaps none and demand for video rentals. Or just really high demand for video rentals.

Gerbwmu

#17

Gerbwmu said:

Sorry that people are losing their jobs. From a more personal side, sad in that an industry is dying which use to be a great source of entertainment for me when I was young. Walking to the local Video Store to rent a NES game was a great thing when I was 10 and without it, I would never have experienced so many games. I'd been limited to Mario/Duck hunt and probably never got into gaming.

ReigningSemtex

#18

ReigningSemtex said:

@unrandomsam I hate buying stuff in GAME mainly because they bombard you with questions
1. Are you on Playstation network/Xbox live
2. Do you want to buy psn/xbl funds
3. Do you want to buy premium dlc pack it gives you savings on a years worth of dlc that doesn't even exist yet and you possibly won't care about.
3. Do you want to insure the game.
4. Do you want to buy this overpriced low quality call of duty headset?

Err no GAME I don't want insurance I treat my games with respect and if I wanted to buy store credit I would ask I just want to get my game then go home and play it.
And people moan about online shopping killing the high street at least when you buy online it's cheaper and they don't try to hassle you into buying things you don't want. GAME sucks.

idork99

#19

idork99 said:

Fond childhood memories of Blockbuster! I used to rent a lot of SNES games from there back in the day. I also rented the Virtual Boy from there! My how times change but Blockbuster will always be in my memories.

2Sang

#21

2Sang said:

It's been a good run best buy, I haven't been in one of you since 2010, but you'll always be mystical to me.

SkywardLink98

#22

SkywardLink98 said:

:'( (I live in the US but still) Goodbye old friend, I'll never forget all of those movies I rented and purchased from you :'(

Yomerodes

#23

Yomerodes said:

Inevitable...I wonder how many years before it happens with Block Buster stores here in Mexico...at least as of now they seem to be doing fine.

tigermask

#24

tigermask said:

All the news articles today are giving me a strong sense of nostalgia. Also, you know you live in the middle of nowhere when you rented games and videos out the back of some guy's van!

willobee

#25

willobee said:

I'm with daveh30. The business failed slowly and steadily, surely the employees saw it coming.There are other jobs out there. Yes it sucks for anyone to lose their job, but what should daveh30 have done? Gone in and gave them all hugs?

JaredJ

#28

JaredJ said:

this is really sad considering how successful Blockbuster used to be.

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