Administrators of DVD rental chain Blockbuster have announced plans to close 164 stores – including one of the company’s branches in Exeter.
Around five staff at the shop in Fore Street, Heavitree, are facing redundancy in the near future. No closing date has yet been set, but all branches affected are set to close in the coming weeks.
Blockbuster branches in Cowick Street, Exeter, Chapel Street, Exmouth, and Queen Street, Newton Abbot, are not among those earmarked for closure.
Staff have been facing an uncertain future since the retailer went into administration on January 16.
Joint administrator Lee Manning, of Deloitte, said: “We have continued to review the performance of individual stores since our appointment a month ago and have concluded that further closures are necessary in order to restructure the company for sale.
“We would like to thank the company’s employees for their support and professionalism during this difficult time and we are also grateful for the continued support of customers.
“We are in discussions with a number of parties interested in purchasing all or parts of the business and will update on progress in due course.”
An employee helpline and assistance programme has been set up to help those staff facing redundancy find other jobs.
There will be a number of closing down promotions across the stores facing closure. The shops will remain open for business as usual and customers will be notified in advance of closure so that they can return outstanding rental items.
The remaining stores will continue to trade as usual whilst administrators progress negotiations with bidders.
At the time of going into administration, Blockbuster employed 4,190 staff at 528 stores across the UK.
Today’s announcement brings the total number of stores earmarked for closure to 324.