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Staff axed in store slump

The Bloackbuster store in Kilnhouse Lane, St Annes. Below: John Moxham.

The Bloackbuster store in Kilnhouse Lane, St Annes. Below: John Moxham.

More jobs are to go on the Fylde as a national video rental company closes more of its shops.

Blockbuster, which went into administration earlier this year, is to close another 62 of its stores nationwide including the outlets in Norbreck and St Annes.

Last month, the Fleetwood store closed with the loss of four jobs. Now with the closure of the shops on Fleetwood Street and Kilnhouse Lane, six and three jobs respectively, will go.

John Moxham, of the St Annes Traders Assosication, said: “It is a shame for the workers but it was not unexpected. It was a business with a limited life span , people can download everything from the internet nowadays.

“There are retail jobs around at the moment, we read this week that Blackpool is no longer the town with the greatest concentration of charity shops and St Annes has ridden the recession quite well due to its mix of national and local retailers.”

Gary Pretty, chairman of the Blackpool Combined Association, which represents traders and hoteliers, said: “It’s a real shame for the people who will lose their jobs but it has been in the offing for some time.

“They have been closing their stores around Blackpool.

“The world has changed and people can pick up films on the internet now.

“This closure has come at the worst possible time for the staff, just before Christmas, which is a shame.”

Staff at the stores said they were unable to comment.

Administrators have not yet confirmed when the stores will close.

Joint Administrators Simon Thomas and Nick O’Reilly, of Moorfields, Corporate Recovery, said they had tried to keep the stores open and had introduced big discounts to try to tempt customers but no new offers for the business have been made.

They said: “Unfortunately we have still not received any acceptable offers so as a result we may be forced to close the remaining 91 stores affecting 808 employees.”

In February it shut the Poulton branch and the stores at Whitegate Drive in Blackpool and Cornelian Way, Marton, soon followed. Before its troubles began, Blockbuster had 528 stores.

The economic downturn and competition from online retailers have been cited for its decline in fortunes.

It was one of several high street big names which hit trouble such as Jessops and Comet.

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