Former staff 'disappointed' as Penarth's Blockbuster branch closes

Penarth Times: EMPTY: Blockbuster closed on Friday last week (2931020) EMPTY: Blockbuster closed on Friday last week (2931020)

PENARTH’S Blockbusters branch officially closed last week after a clearance sale.

Former staff at the video rental store, that employed six people, said they were disappointed but felt it was inevitable after they had seen so many other stores close.

The Hickman Road branch closed at 3pm on Friday, December 6, after a clearance sale offering 90 per cent off stock. The video rental chain has struggled in recent years due to the rise of online streaming services, such as Netflix and LoveFilm, and customers buying the likes of DVD’s online.

The branch had avoided being closed three times after Blockbuster’s parent company announced the closure of 160 stores in January, 72 stores in November and then a further 30 stores last week.

It was then announced that a further 62 stores, including Penarth, were to close with a total of 427 people being made unemployed by last Friday.

Moorfields Corporate Recovery LLP, the administrators attempting to find a buyer for the DVD and games rental games chain, warned that all of the remaining 91 stores that employ 808 people could face closure, as they had still not received “any acceptable offers”.

Speaking before the Chancellor’s autumn statement last week, where it was announced that the business rates increase would be capped at two per cent, a Moorfields spokesman said it was encouraging the government “to take urgent action on business rates as retailers continue to struggle”.

“Whilst the difficulties faced by TS Operations trading as Blockbuster are not solely due to the burden of business rates, the group was paying a sizeable £3.8m on a turnover of £40m. Even if, as speculated, the rates increase were capped at two per cent Blockbuster would have faced an increase of £75,000 on an already considerable £3.8m.”

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