In January of this year, Blockbuster U.K. announced that it was entering administration, the British version of a bankruptcy filing. The company began closing dozens of its stores and laid off hundreds of employees while getting into shape for a sale. Eventually, the company was bought by Gordon Brothers Europe, a private equity firm that believed it could reform Blockbuster with a successful business strategy.
Today, Gordon Brothers Europe announced that Blockbuster U.K. is once again entering administration. According to a BBC News report, the firm had tried to restructure Blockbuster with "strategic marketing activities" and better deals on its store lease terms. Those efforts failed, along with an ambitious plan to create a digital distribution platform for the company. That initiative failed in part due to the company being unable to iron out a license deal with the U.S. Blockbuster parent company.
The only layoffs so far announced are 32 employees from the Blockbuster U.K. headquarters. The company's 264 stores, as of right now, will remain open while the company searches for yet another buyer.
Though Blockbuster U.K. stores will remain open, the company has announced that it will not be fulfilling any of its pre-orders for the upcoming PlayStation 4 or Xbox One video game consoles:
We are once again very sorry to not be able to provide customers with Xbox One or PS4 consoles, but we will refund all validated pre-orders.
— Blockbuster UK (@Blockbuster_UK) October 29, 2013
Though the company had told customers earlier in the day that they should visit stores to receive a refund, it is now telling customers that they will need to write to Blockbuster U.K. headquarters and include a copy of their receipt to receive a refund.