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Blockbuster to Close Another 182 Stores

20 Dec, 2010 By: Chris Tribbey

Working to emerge from bankruptcy, Blockbuster Inc. said in court papers that it will close 72 more stores before the end of the year and an additional 110 stores during the first couple of months of 2011.

The information was disclosed in court filings Dec. 17.

“Before the end of the year, Blockbuster will close 72 additional stores and will seek to reject the leases associated with those leased premises, effective as of December 31, 2010,” the court filings read. “Further, Blockbuster currently anticipates it will close in the first quarter of 2011 approximately 110 stores that are underperforming and/or are in locations with leases that will expire by their own terms.”

In the filings Blockbuster also said it had retained real estate consultants to help renegotiate leases for stores it will possibly keep open.

Blockbuster also has retained two experienced real estate consultants to renegotiate leases for stores it wants to keep open.

“From the debtors’ perspective, rent reductions are a significant factor in assessing the profitability of stores in connection with the debtors’ business plan for its retail
store channel upon exit from these chapter 11 cases,” the filing reads.

Blockbuster first filed for bankruptcy in September, and in early December it reported a net loss of $36.5 million from continuing operations for the period Sept. 23 to Oct. 31. Included in that figure was nearly $12 million in ongoing reorganization costs.

As of Oct. 3 Blockbuster had operated 2,864 stores in the United States and 5,537 worldwide. It has shuttered nearly 1,500 stores worldwide since 2009.

Blockbuster did not reveal where the upcoming store closings would take place.

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