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PS4 and Xbox One pre-orders axed as Blockbuster UK enters administration

Struggling games and film retailer collapses for second time in a single year

Blockbuster UK has entered into administration for the second time this year, its owner has announced, resulting in the cancellation of Xbox One and PS4 pre-orders.

Blockbuster first entered administration in January

Private equity firm Gordon Brothers Europe, which bought Blockbuster UK out of administration in January, says poor trading conditions and uncooperative prospective partners are to blame for the new setback.

Those who pre-ordered an Xbox One or PS4 through Blockbuster UK have been told the retailer will no longer honour them. A representative for the retail chain has apologised for the inconvenience via Twitter. A spokesperson told CVG that customers who placed pre-orders are advised to visit the store where they made their order.

By the end of 2012, Blockbuster UK operated more than 500 stores, and was squeezed down to about half of that following Gordon Brothers Europe's acquisition.

Gordon Brothers Europe has said Blockbuster stores will remain operational while a new buyer is sought. As many as 32 employees have been made redundant at Blockbuster UK's headquarters.

The retailer's parent company also said, following its acquisition, it had "striven to turn around the historically loss-making company by restructuring the business, investing significantly in strategic marketing activities and negotiating with the landlords of its retail outlets".

It claimed: "The company also tried to develop a new digital platform but was unable to broker a licensing deal with Blockbuster UK's parent company in the US. Regrettably, the months since the acquisition have also coincided with a period of poor trading performance across both rental and retail sales."

The second collapse of Blockbuster UK marks the struggles that game and film retailers face in an increasingly prevalent market of online content and digital downloads.

Fellow UK media retailer HMV also fell into administration in January. It was acquired by Hilco in April.