2013’s been a tumultuous year for Blockbuster, entering administration in January, 160 stores were closed within a month, putting a great many people out of work. Though administrator Deloitte may have found some stability for the rental franchise as this weekend they announced the sale of Blockbuster’s remaining 264 stores to Gordon Brothers Europe.
“Having identified a profitable core portfolio of stores we are pleased to have achieved this sale for creditors,” Deloitte administrator Lee Manning announced. “Together with the previously announced store sales more than half of the original estate has been secured for ongoing use.”
This is genuinely a great success for the company. Blockbuster was poorly placed to address the trend to digital as, unlike companies like Lovefilm and Netflix, it remained with physical media rental rather than create its own streaming service. Plus, with the consoles creating their own digital marketplaces and the growing popularity of Steam and its flash sales the market for game rentails seriously decreased. Falling behind in that way can’t have made it a particularly attractive product to many investors. Though with its successful sale to Gordon Brothers Europe 2,000 jobs have been saved.
HMV, who also entered administration under Deloitte in January, are still looking for a buyer.