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Blockbuster UK sold to investment firm, half its stores to close

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A little more than two months after Blockbuster announced it had gone into administration, the British equivalent of filing Chapter 11 bankrupcy, the company has found a buyer. Reuters reports that Gordon Brothers Europe has purchased 264 Blockbuster stores for an undisclosed sum, and intends to keep them open — it says the acquisition will keep 2,000 of the company's 4,000 jobs intact, and the 264 stores figure is likewise half of Blockbuster's roster of 528 locations in the UK.

Blockbuster's financial woes have been well-documented in both the US and UK, but Gordon Brothers says it had identified "a profitable core portfolio of stores," and intended to keep existing stores running normally. It's a lifeline for Blockbuster, certainly, but its new owner acknowledged Blockbuster's ongoing challenges adapting to a market dominated by companies like Netflix and Amazon — even 264 stores won't be sustainable unless Blockbuster can compete with the new kings of the industry.