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It was announced in Jan. that the U.K. version of Blockbuster Video had filed for administration, the country’s version of chapter 11 bankruptcy. The day to day operations of the 528 stores and nearly 4,200 employees were taken over by Deloitte, which has cut some of the retail locations since that time.
Gordon Brothers announced today that it is acquiring the company and will keep the doors open. It plans to keep the remaining 264 stores in operation as well as retain the remaining 2,000 employees.
Frank Morton, CEO of Gordon Brothers Europe said of the acquisition, “We acknowledge the industry is in transition; we know that we have a challenge ahead but there is still a market to be served.” He went on to add, “Blockbuster has a strong brand affinity and we believe that with the right mix of new product offering, new technologies, strategic management and marketing, we can bring new life to this high street staple. We look forward to working with employees, suppliers, landlords and other stakeholders to make this happen.”
The U.K. branch of Blockbuster operates separately from the U.S. arm which is also currently going through its own financial turmoil. Dish Network, which bought Blockbuster in 2011, announced earlier this year that it would be closing 300 more stores on top of the 500 it had already shuttered.
Gordon Brothers Europe’s TS 1973 Investment Holdings Limited acquires Blockbuster Entertainment
TS 1973 Investment Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of global private equity and investment company Gordon Brothers Europe, today announces the acquisition of the business and assets of Blockbuster Entertainment Ltd and Blockbuster GB Ltd.
The 264 stores across the UK and Channel Islands will continue to operate on a ‘business as usual’ basis saving over 2,000 British jobs. The deal will see substantial investment from Gordon Brothers Europe, which intends to fully utilise the existing trading platform, powerhouse brand and extensive customer database. The company will focus on enhancing the customer experience through the use of new product offerings, new technologies and better basic retailing helping Blockbuster become a viable business once again.
Last month Gordon Brothers Europe lent its global expertise to improve the trading position of the ailing Republic fashion chain driving a 2.5 times increase in sales, whilst maintaining a stable margin that facilitated a going concern trade sale.
Former HMV UK and Ireland Commercial Director Gary Warren has been appointed as Managing Director of Blockbuster. With over 20 years working in the retail sector, Warren’s experience also includes a high-powered role at HMV North America and Canada, as Vice President of Operations and Product from 2001 – 2005.
Commenting on the acquisition, Frank Morton, CEO of Gordon Brothers Europe said: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Blockbuster. We acknowledge the industry is in transition; we know that we have a challenge ahead but there is still a market to be served. Blockbuster has a strong brand affinity and we believe that with the right mix of new product offering, new technologies, strategic management and marketing, we can bring new life to this high street staple. We look forward to working with employees, suppliers, landlords and other stakeholders to make this happen.”
Blockbuster is the UK’s leading in-store film and game rental service. The company also offers an extensive online DVD and game rental proposition as well as a platform for new and used movies and games along with a varied confectionary offering. Blockbuster is a recognisable, powerhouse brand, synonymous with expertise in the film and leisure industry. The business has a dedicated and loyal workforce with a deep understanding and knowledge of the products sold and rented by Blockbuster. With 2.9m active store members, Blockbuster has been serving the UK entertainment industry since 1989.