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UPDATED: Blockbuster store in Weymouth and Millets in Dorchester to close
2:43pm Wednesday 13th February 2013 in News
STAFF are facing redundancies after another Weymouth store is set to close its doors.
The Blockbuster store on St Thomas Street will close down, it has been announced today.
Millets in Dorchester has also announced it will be closing at the beginning of next month.
The move comes after administrators Deloitte were brought in a month ago, who kept some stores open whilst a buyer was found.
The DVD and game rental retailer is the latest store to struggle against internet competition.
But they announced today that Weymouth is one of 164 stores across the country which will be shut down as part of a phased closure.
The Bridport branch will remain open.
Lee Manning, Joint Administrator, said: “We have continued to review the performance of individual stores since our appointment a month ago and have concluded that further closures are necessary in order to restructure the Company for sale.
"We would like to thank the Company’s employees for their support and professionalism during this difficult time and we are also grateful for the continued support of customers.
"We are in discussions with a number of parties interested in purchasing all or parts of the business and will update on progress in due course.”
Deloitte confirmed that staff at affected stores will be facing redundancy, although it is not known how many employees in Weymouth are affected, or when exactly the store will close.
Closing stores will remain open for business as usual and customers will be notified in advance of closure so that they can return their outstanding rental items beforehand.
The standard rental terms and conditions remain in place during this time.
Incoming president of the Weymouth Chamber of Commerce Mark Blunden said the closure could be as much to do with a change in society’s habits as a downturn in the economy.
He said: “I think we are all guilty of using online services for DVD rentals, and it is perhaps a demographic reason why the Weymouth store is closing and the Bridport store is staying open for now, because maybe people are more likely to download.”
But he said more could be done to support businesses.
He added: “Parking costs are always an issue. If you want to pop into town, but would have to pay a couple of pound to do so, you are going to look for another place to go.”
Weymouth businessman Shaun Hennessy added that any job losses are ‘disastrous’ for the town.
He added: “Empty spaces in the town are not going to help the image we are trying to project.
“But we have to remember we are a seasonal resort, and this is a good opportunity for independent stores to come in.
“That is Weymouth’s future, rather than big chain stores.”
Millets in Dorchester is set to close on March 9.
The outdoor clothing store in Cornhill is part of the same group as Blacks, which has a shop in Tudor Arcade.