Blockbuster outlets in Kingston, Surbiton and Tolworth are to be axed, as the troubled video rental chain announces store closures across the country.
The closures were publicised on Saturday as part of a statement in which the company said that it will be shutting down 129 of its 528 stores, on top of 31 stores which had already been previously notified before the company went into administration. Approximately 900 employees in total will be left jobless by the move.
A Blockbuster spokesman said: “The stores that are being closed are fundamentally ones that have no possibility of generating a profit…these are the types of stores where even if they pay no rent they would still not make any money.”
The chain is the most recent in a string of businesses to announce closures. HMV and Jessops, both of which have or have had stores in Kingston, have also had to face up to their failings and call in the administrators.
The Chief Executive of Kingston Chamber of Commerce, Jerry Irving spoke of the negative impact of such closures on the town: “Any local business that closes down, whether it’s independent or part of a chain, is bad news for business in Kingston. In this difficult economic climate, the problem is how will that business unit then be refilled and by what. Obviously there is a knock-on effect on business rates and therefore business rates income as well.”
He added: “Kingston is well-known as being a strong retail environment and what we need to do is look at that sector of business as a borough and determine how we’re going to deal with struggling businesses in the future.”
The Chamber of Commerce currently offers a support scheme called ‘Local Shops Matter’, which provides support and advice for any business seeking help. Find out more on their website.