The receiver tasked with selling Blockbuster Canada has released a list of the 146 stores it will close as it prepares to bring the chain to market.
Grant Thornton Ltd. said the stores - 66 in Ontario, 26 in British Columbia, 19 in Quebec, 15 in Alberta, 11 in Manitoba, 5 in Nova Scotia, three in New Brunswick and one in Prince Edward Island - will begin liquidating their stock in the coming weeks and will be closed by the end of June.
"As part of the consolidation process, Blockbuster Canada Co. will be conducting a clearance sale for a large portion of its movies and games inventory at savings of at least 30 per cent off regular prices. Clearance sales will be conducted at the stores being closed," the receiver said in a release.
Gift cards won't be accepted at any location that is set to close, the receiver said in a press release titled "Interest in Blockbuster Canada Co. remains strong."
The video rental chain was pushed into receivership earlier this month after Hollywood movie studios called in $70-million in debt racked up by its parent company that had been secured against the Canadian operations.
While the U.S. chain was losing money as consumers opted for alternatives such as mail-order DVDs, mall kiosks and Internet services such as Netflix, the Canadian operations had $117-million in assets - including $15-million in cash - when pushed into receivership, according to documents filed this week by receiver Grant Thornton.
Blockbuster Canada is essentially being sold to service the U.S. debt, after its parent company was sold to Dish Network Corp. earlier this month. The receivership puts the U.S. movie studios at the front of the line when the chain is eventually sold; anything left over will go to smaller suppliers that were caught off guard by the receivership.
The company is battling with its former U.S. parent over the right to use the Blockbuster name. The issue could be decided in a U.S. court in early June, when the receiver will ask that such decisions be left in the hands of the Canadian legal system.
It has proposed that the Canadian chain pay a 4 per cent licencing fee to keep its access to the company's intellectual property that it has used since opening in 1990. The U.S. parent went bankrupt last year, and was eventually bought by Dish Network.