Longtime video and DVD rental service Blockbuster, has for the second time this year, entered administration and is seeking a new buyer. It previously circled the the drain in February but was picked up by Gordon Brothers Europe in March – obviously that saving grace didn’t last.
The relatively new owner announced the problems yesterday, suggesting that it had tried to make steps to modernise the business. “[We have] “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”.
It suggested that it had also tried to offer a Blockbuster digital platform, where most of the industry’s growth is. Unfortunately it was blocked at every turn by Blockbuster’s US parent company. On top of this, retail sales and rentals continued to dwindle as more people move away from physical media for movie and TV viewing.
In a surprise turn however, not many jobs will be lost. While Gordon Brothers said that 32 redundancies would take place at its HQ, all 264 UK wide stores will remain open as a new buyer is sought.
But what about those that have pre-ordered either of the upcoming next-gen consoles from Microsoft and Sony? For those of you facing this horrible reality, you’re not totally out of luck, but you will need to resort to rather traditional communication mediums. Announced via the company’s Twitter, it said:
“To claim a full refund of your pre-order, please write to: Blockbuster, Harefield Place, The Drive Uxbridge UB10 8AQ. Please include your name, the branch where the order was made, order number and a copy of the receipt that was given when the order was placed.”
“We are once again very sorry to not be able to provide customers with Xbox One or PS4 consoles, but we will refund all validated pre-orders.”
KitGuru Says: It’s really unfortunate that such an iconic brand is being driven into the dirt by short sighted individuals in the US. What are you doing in the media retail game in 2013 if you haven’t got a digital solution?[Cheers BBC, Eurogamer]