Block Busted


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 Cometwas 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.


  4 comments for “Block Busted

  1. Stuart Jebbitt
    January 21, 2013 at 9:52 am

    The danger is that only 3-4 powerful supermarket chains will eventually survive – supermarket or onliine will be our only choices. meanwhile town centres will be converted into housing..I can see it happening. Sainsburys Boss, Justin King, has already said that town centres that are no longer viable should be converted to residential use.

  2. January 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I was in Eastleigh yesterday and the place is really turning into a ghost town. I even saw a notice strapped to a lamp post begging for free help to run the towns museum.

  3. S A March
    January 26, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Town centre shops are suffering because the Council has seen fit to raise car parking charges to a level where it turns people to online shopping. There are some enlightened places that either don’t charge or have a sensible pricing policy but that doesn’t apply to Eastleigh. Since the Council are now able to keep parking revenues, the costs have gone up tremendously. It’s no good Councillors bleating on about usuing public transport – (a) it’s equally expensive and (b) it’s extremely unreliable plus its very difficult to manage boxes and bags on buses.

    If the Council actually supported their local centre by slashing/abolishing car parking fees, trade would improve. However, EBC are not interested in commerce and do no have a business brain amongst any of their employees.

  4. Peter Stewart UKIP
    January 29, 2013 at 8:41 pm


    I remember Eastleigh in 1969 .

    There was 25 minute FREE parking on both sides of Market St, Factory Rd, High St and Leigh Rd. After that, it was sixpence per half hour I think (later to become 5 p). That gyro system was crucial.

    For those who don’t understand the business sense of encouraging cars into the heart of the Town, it achieves three VITAL things:

    1) It enables lazy shoppers to park near their chosen shop, buy things, nip in to one or two other shops, go home again, all without having to walk far, and all achieved quickly, efficiently, and cheaply.

    2) It stimulates peripheral trade on which a Town thrives. More shops succeed = more retail variety = more shoppers! Voila!

    3) Motor cars create hustle and bustle! This creates the urgency to buy by creating the impression that others might buy the goods first.

    Eastleigh has been irreparably damaged by the Swan Centre but much can be done to improve trade in both the old part of the Town and the Swan Centre.

    a) Remove the covered street walkways.

    b) Widen Market St, Factory Rd, High St and Leigh Rd to double parking as it used to be.

    c) Reduce the width of the pavements to reduce the physical separation between shoppers. This increases hustle and bustle.

    d) Introduce FREE parking for the first 30 minutes and a nominal 10 pence per half hour thereafter. The purpose of parking fees is to deter long term parking, not to bring in revenue (which is ALWAYS counter productive since it deters shoppers, damages trade and reduces rates revenue etc.).

    e) De-pedestrianize all Town Centre roads.

    f) Replace all pelican crossings within a mile of the Town, by modern, LED zebra crossings to improve traffic flow into and out of the Town,

    g) Replace all traffic lights within two miles of the Town by mini-roundabouts, to improve traffic flow into and out of the Town.


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