Struggles on the high street
Published: 17 Jan 2013 12:30
Deloitte was appointed administrator for struggling DVD and games rental chain Blockbuster yesterday (Wednesday), while music and DVD retailer HMV announced on Tuesday it was appointing an administrator, putting 4,350 jobs
at risk nationally. The news of Blockbuster's plight came just five days after camera chain Jessops closed its Reading shop, in Queen Victoria Street, on Friday, one of 187 closures across the country that left 1,370 people out of work.
Lee Manning, spokesman for Deloitte, said: "In recent years Blockbuster has faced increased competition from internet based providers along with the shift to digital streaming of movies and games.
"We are working closely with suppliers and employees to ensure the business has the best possible platform to secure a sale, preserve jobs and generate as much value as possible for all creditors."
But MP for Reading West, Alok Sharma, urged that stores must embrace new technologies in order to survive, saying: "Any job losses are to be regretted and I hope these can be minimised but sometimes companies suffer because their business model becomes outdated or is impacted by technological advances."
David Cooke, interim executive director at Reading UK CIC, said: "I think the high street is changing but Reading is in a good place to embrace that, with a perfect mix of entertainment and shopping."
Gemma Chandler, 35, from Caversham, visits The Oracle every week with her two children, and is concerned about the loss of small chain stores. She said: "Before long the town could end up like the States with huge supermarkets and department stores everywhere.
"That is not what Reading is about and without the smaller chains it would lose its appeal completely."
The managers of Reading's two top shopping centres point to hope on the horizon. New business Ed's Easy Diner, a retro American restaurant, is set to open at The Oracle in the spring, and four new businesses are poised to open in the Broadstreet Mall in the coming months.
Mall manager Steve Fawke hopes all units at the shopping centre will be fully let out by spring.
Get more stories from our Roundup section
12 Dec 2013 17:50
SHOPPERS are warned they are being turned away from a Lower Earley supermarket after a fire broke out in the bakery.
12 Dec 2013 17:30
THE Food Standards Agency has issued a warning to the public after a soft drink was found to contain high levels of cocaine.
12 Dec 2013 17:00 • Tessa Watkins
PEOPLE across Reading whose lives were touched by Nelson Mandela have been paying tribute to the former South African president.
12 Dec 2013 17:00 • Newsdesk
CAMPAIGNERS have reacted with fury after expansion plans for an airport were reportedly leaked.
12 Dec 2013 15:30
POLICE have renewed appeals for a missing girl who has not been seen for eight days.
12 Dec 2013 15:30
THE decision to fork out £350,000 of taxpayers’ money to help build a new travellers’ site has been defended.
12 Dec 2013 13:30 • Newsdesk
A MUCH-LOVED TV personality was on hand to light up a village with festive cheer.
12 Dec 2013 11:30
READERS help make families "dreams come true" with a record-breaking response to the Toys and Tins appeal. Also, residents slam "shameful" plans to build on Blue Mountain golf course, damages for a girl disabled by meningitis and a double-page picture special on motorbikers dropping off Christmas presents to children in Wokingham and Bracknell.
12 Dec 2013 11:30
A STUDENT wants to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable development after returning from a life-changing trip to tackle poverty in Tanzania.
12 Dec 2013 10:30
AN EAST Reading surgery blacklisted among the 10 worst in the country today by a health watchdog has been ordered to improve.
12 Dec 2013 09:30
A TRACKING system on a stolen laptop led to two men being arrested in connection with a burglary.
12 Dec 2013 09:30 • Andy Wilkins
A CANCER survivor has thanked his friends and family for their help after pulling in a hair-raising amount for charity.
12 Dec 2013 07:30
A CLEAN up initiative launched by the council aims to crack down on residents who illegally dump their waste.
11 Dec 2013 17:30 • Andy Wilkins
COUNCIL tax is set to increase by 2% after councillors approved draft budgets for the next four years.
11 Dec 2013 16:00
A DRUG dealer has been sentenced to seven years in prison for his involvement in a multi-million pound drug ring.
11 Dec 2013 14:30 • Andy Wilkins
FESTIVE celebrations spread through a village as companies, schools and residents joined together for an annual fair.
11 Dec 2013 10:50
A CARAVAN was completely destroyed in a blaze in Whitley today.
11 Dec 2013 10:48
POLICE are investigating a suspected arson after a scooter blaze in east Reading in the early hours of today.
11 Dec 2013 10:00
POLICE say a 17-year-old girl who went missing from her Oxford home could be in Reading.
10 Dec 2013 17:45 • Andy Wilkins
A BUILDING at a hospital may need to be demolished after an elderly man's car crashed into it.