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Irish Rental Chain Xtra-vision Shuttering 28 Stores

23 Nov, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Irish video retail and rental chain Xtra-vision Ltd. is closing 28 of its remaining 90 stores — a move the Dublin-based company says will enable it redouble efforts on entertainment retail and kiosk rental. The closures, which involve store leases ending Feb. 1, 2016, will reportedly affect upwards of 90 staffers.

“Reflecting the changing dynamic in consumer behavior as customers favor the retail opportunity in the entertainment market, Xtra-vision is condensing its store portfolio to a smaller number of focused retail locations,” parent Hilco Capital said in a statement released to Irish Independent.

Ireland’s largest video rental chain with 186 stores was sold by Blockbuster in 2009 to Irish-based Birchhall Investments Ltd. for about $45 million in cash. Hilco Capital, which owns British entertainment retailer HMV, bought Xtra-vision out of bankruptcy in 2013 for $8.7 million.

The Irish disc rental business took a hit in 2012 with the arrival of Netflix’s subscription streaming business, the latter topping about 3 million subscribers at the end of 2014. It is projected to reach just shy of 8 million subs by the end of 2018, according to IHS.

Hilco said Xtra-vision would continue focus on remaining retail stores, its 100 Xtra-vision Express rental kiosks and related branded online platforms.

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