Blockbuster back in administration

People walk past Blockbusters store (file photo 2010) Hundreds of Blockbuster stories were shut in the weeks after its initial collapse in January

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DVD and games rental chain Blockbuster is to go into administration for a second time, says its owner, private equity firm Gordon Brothers Europe.

Blockbuster collapsed for the first time in January, after losing business to online firms streaming films over the internet as well as offering rentals through the post.

It was sold to Gordon Brothers Europe in March.

Before its troubles began, the firm had 528 stores.

Gordon Brothers Europe said in a statement that it had "striven to turn around the historically loss-making company by restructuring the business, investing significantly in strategic marketing activities and negotiating with the landlords of its retail outlets".

It added: "The company also tried to develop a new digital platform but was unable to broker a licensing deal with Blockbuster UK's parent company in the US.

"Regrettably, the months since the acquisition have also coincided with a period of poor trading performance across both rental and retail sales."

Pressure

It said there would be 32 redundancies at Blockbuster's UK headquarters, but its remaining 264 stores would continue to trade while a buyer was sought.

The company employs about 2,000 staff, about half the level it did at the time of the previous administration 10 months ago.

Blockbuster is one of several High Street names to have come under pressure in recent times - particularly from online competitors.

Among them are camera chain Jessops, which has gone into administration; music and DVD group HMV, which has closed 66 stores; and electrical chain Comet, which closed its doors for the last time before Christmas last year.

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