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Dozens of jobs lost as Blockbuster to close remaining stores in Chatham, Gravesend, Sittingbourne, Maidstone and Tonbridge

12 December 2013
by Chris Price

Dozens of people are to lose their jobs in Kent as Blockbuster prepares to close all its remaining stores, administrators confirmed today.

The rental chain's last county shops - in Chatham, Gravesend, Sittingbourne, Maidstone and Tonbridge - will cease trading along with all other outlets by Monday, costing 42 roles.

In total, 91 stores will shut across the country at the expense of 808 jobs.

The Blockbuster store in Gravesend will close for the final time

Remaining stock will be sold by Sunday, with discounts of up to 90%.

The move was widely expected after administrators announced more closures last week and said they had not received any acceptable offers for the remaining stores.

Last week, the chain closed 62 stores across the country, costing 427 jobs - including Margate's store in Northdown Road, costing six jobs; and Folkestone's shop on Sandgate Road, costing eight jobs.

The closures today mean:

  • Ten people will lose their jobs at the Gravesend store in West Street, which will close today
  • Also closing today is Chatham's store in Clover Street, costing nine jobs
  • A shop in Sittingbourne's The Forum will close on Sunday, costing 11 jobs
  • A shop in the Pavillion, Tonbridge, will close on Sunday, costing 10 jobs
  • An outlet in Week Street, Maidstone, will cose on Sunday at a loss of two jobs

The Blockbuster branch in Margate

The Blockbuster branch in Margate closed last week

Last month, the troubled DVD and video games chain announced the closure of its Dover shop at a loss of five jobs having tumbled into administration for the second time this year in October.

Joint administrators Simon Thomas and Nick O'Reilly said: "It is with regret that we have to make today's announcement. We appreciate this is a difficult time for all concerned and would like to thank staff for their professionalism and support over the past month.

"Unfortunately, we were unable to secure a buyer for the group as a going concern and as a result had to take the regrettable action to close the remaining stores."

Blockbuster in Maidstone is among the stores closing

Blockbuster in Maidstone is among the stores closing

Blockbuster, the trading name of TS Operations, was placed into administration in January but was rescued by Gordon Brothers who purchased 264 stores in March.

Before its troubles began, the company had 528 stores.

The rise of online competitors like LoveFilm and Netflix made Blockbuster's product outdated in today's world.

It is the latest in a series of high street chains to falter from the rise of online competition, including camera chain Jessops, music store HMV and electrical giant Comet.

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