Workers at Eastleigh’s two Blockbuster video hire shops will be waiting to hear if they still have a job today after administrators for the stricken chain announced this weekend that they would be closing 160 of the 528 stores with a loss of 760 jobs
Blockbuster, who have shops in the town’s High Street and on Winchester Road Chandlers Ford, went into administration last week shortly after the closure of Jessop’s photographic stores whose Hedge End branch is situated next to the still shuttered former Best Buy store which remained empty since its closure last January.
The Woodside Avenue branch of electrical retailer Comet – was also forced to close shortly before Christmas with further job losses at its Hedge End delivery depot.
All four retailers have suffered from consumers shifting away from the High Street to the internet – in the case of Blockbuster downloading and on-demand streaming of video has surged in popularity.
Meanwhile the recession is continuing to claim local businesses operating in other sectors.
Heating and ventilation contractors Star Mechanical and Engineering Limited, also on Winchester Road, Chandler’s Ford,– and who had been operating since 1999 – went into administration on December 10 with the loss of 21 jobs.
Last year several chains, Clintons Cards, Peacock and Game, all went into administration but their branches in Eastleigh’s comparatively thriving town centre avoided closure.
Staff at Eastleigh’s Blockbuster outlets will be hoping that they too will escape the axe.
In December the towns MP Chris Huhne spoke at Eastleigh College during a visit – which was also attend by Business Secretary Vince Cable – and claimed that the local economy was ‘recovering’ and in better shape than when the country was under a Labour government.