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Jobs at risk at Blockbuster in Runcorn
GAMES and DVD rental chain Blockbuster has gone bust for the second time this year, putting 2,000 jobs at risk.
The company, which has a store at Trident Retail Park in Runcorn, has collapsed into administration.
It could close if a buyer is not found, say its owner, private equity firm Gordon Brothers Europe.
Blockbuster first ran into financial difficulties in January after failing to compete against online firms offering films on the internet and postal rentals.
The business originally had 528 stores, including one in Widnes.
In a statement, Gordon Brothers Europe said 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.
"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."
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 around 2,000 staff, about half the level it did at the time of the previous administration 10 months ago.
Chief executive Frank Morton said: “We have worked extremely hard to re-ignite the Blockbuster brand. Despite our best efforts, we regret that we are now forced to make some redundancies.”
Blockbuster is one of several High Street retailers to have been hit by online competitors.
Other victims include camera chain Jessops, which went into administration, music and DVD group HMV, which has closed 66 stores, and electrical chain Comet, which shut at Christmas.
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