Blockbuster latest UK high street chain to enter administration, gift cards still accepted

It's like a house of cards on the high street at the moment, with the UK arm of Blockbuster becoming the latest company to enter administration as the recession claims another retail chain.

We've already seen Game, Comet, Play.com, Jessops and HMV being closed down completely or facing huge restructuring in order to survive, now it is the turn of the video rental store Blockbuster. And the administrator called in to take charge of its affairs is one that has become very familiar over recent months.

Deloitte is already handling HMV's administration and now it's been called in to Blockbuster. It previously also oversaw the sale of Game in March of last year.

While HMV is hopeful it will survive its own crisis and Game continues to operate, albeit on a much smaller scale, there are some who think Blockbuster will not be as fortunate. However, Deloitte is confident it can operate the company with as little impact as possible on stores, staff or customers as it seeks a buyer for the entire franchise or parts of the business.

Speaking to Pocket-lint, Lee Manning, joint administrator and partner in Deloitte’s Restructuring Services practice, told us that even gift cards given as presents or redeemed against trade-in goods will continue to be accepted - something not always the case in these situations.

"In recent years Blockbuster has faced increased competition from internet-based providers along with the shift to digital streaming of movies and games," Manning said. "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.

"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. During this time gift cards and credit acquired through Blockbuster’s trade-in scheme will be honoured towards the purchase of goods."

Are you a staff member or customer of Blockbuster UK? Did you see this coming? Let us know in the comments below...

Pic: (cc) Betty Longbottom