Morrisons to take over Blockbuster stores

UK grocer Morrisons has announced the purchase of 49 now defunct Blockbuster stores as it plans to expand across the south of England.

The Bradford-based supermarket stated its intention to open at least 70 Morrisons M local stores by the end of 2013, but job losses announced by the failed DVD rental store’s administrators Deloitte will not be saved.

Gordon Mowat, Managing Director of Morrisons Convenience said: “We are rolling out the Morrisons M local estate at pace this year and these acquisitions give us a kick start in securing a solid foothold in this key sector.  The convenience market is growing as more people shop locally and we want to be in a position to take advantage of this.”

Earlier this month the company bought seven stores from photography retailer Jessops, which also went into administration this year.

Julian Bailey, a spokesman for Morrisons, said the company will “smash” through plans for 70 stores.

Partner Deloitte LLP Lee Manning said: “This transaction represents a good deal for both the creditors of Blockbuster and Morrisons and we are pleased that these stores have found an alternative user that can create new employment.”

But there is no formal procedure in place to employ Blockbuster staff in the new Morrisons M local stores, said Mr Bailey, and any staff made redundant would need to re-apply. Roughly 20 people will be employed per store.

Morrisons is the UK’s fourth largest chain of supermarkets, behind Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s, employing over 132,000 people across the business.

Main image from ell brown.

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