Blockbuster plans to shed 182 more stores

By Reuters
Posted Dec. 20, 2010 at 12:37 p.m.

Bankrupt video rental chain Blockbuster Inc. plans to close 182 stores by the end of the first quarter as it tries to find a way back on its feet.

The largest U.S. video rental chain plans to close 72 stores by Jan. 1 and 110 more in the first quarter of 2011, according to documents filed Friday in Manhattan’s bankruptcy court.

Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in September, weighed down by its debts and stung by video-on-demand and competitors such as mail-order pioneer Netflix Inc. and Redbox Inc., a Coinstar Inc. unit that rents movies through kiosks.

Blockbuster has closed about 1,000 stores in recent years as it tries to cut costs but still had about 2,900 in the United States when it filed for bankruptcy.

The company is renegotiating leases with thousands of landlords, said Patricia Sullivan, a Blockbuster spokeswoman.

She said the company will emerge from bankruptcy by the beginning of the second quarter of next year, with fewer, more profitable, stores.

The company entered bankruptcy with a plan that would put billionaire investor Carl Icahn and his hedge fund partners in control of the company when it emerges.

The case is In re: 10-14997, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York.

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One comment:

  1. Nomo Blockbuster Dec. 21, 2010 at 12:08 a.m.

    Not enough closures. Blockbuster needs to close ALL stores at a minimum if it wants to see 2012. The rental store model is obsolete and Blockbuster is no longer a trusted name in the movie rental business.