Feb 14 2013 by Mark Dowling, Chester Chronicle
Republic in Chester (left) and Blockbuster in Frodsham Image 1
CHESTER’S high street retail scene took a fresh blow yesterday after a DVD rental firm is to shut up shop while a clothing chain plunged into administration.
Administrator Deloitte announced the Boughton branch of DVD rental firm Blockbuster is one of 164 stores nationwide to be closing its doors for the last time.
It joins nearby Blockbuster branches in Frodsham and Ellesmere Port, where closures were announced last month.
In a statement from Deloitte, the administrators said there will be a number of closing down promotions across the stores to supplement those already on offer across the estate.
Staff in the stores affected by the closures will be facing redundancy and a dedicated employee helpline and an employee assistance programme are in place to help staff facing redundancy.
Closing stores will remain open for business and customers will be notified in advance of closure so they can return their outstanding rental items beforehand.
Lee Manning, joint administrator, said: “We have continued to review the performance of individual stores since our appointment a month ago and have concluded 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.”
Meanwhile the future of clothes store Republic, which has a large store on Foregate Street, is uncertain after the company went into administration.
Joint administrator Hunter Kelly said: “Republic suffered poor trading results in the autumn, and while sales picked up in December there has been a sudden and rapid decline in sales in late January.
“We will continue to trade Republic, with a view to selling the business as a going concern. The brand Republic is well recognised, particularly in the North.”
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