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Blockbuster UK goes bust

The UK high street is looking even more ravaged with today’s news that DVD rental chain Blockbuster UK has called in the administrators, after failing to meet the challenge posed online video distribution.

With 528 stores and just over 4,000 employees, Blockbuster UK is the largest high street firm yet to go bust in recent weeks, following similar announcements from music retailer HMV and camera seller Jessops. Electricals chain Comet also collapsed just before Christmas.

“We are working closely with [Blockbuster UK's] 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,” said Lee Manning, from Deloitte’s Restructuring Services practice.

“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.”

While the US parent company was rescued from bankruptcy in 2011 by pay-TV provider Dish Network for US$ 320mn, it remains to be seen whether the brand will survive in its current form in the UK for long, as online video services such as Netflix, LoveFilm and Sky Go whittle down its market share.

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