Blockbuster set to openstandalone games outlets

Blockbuster%20Video%20storeBeleaguered retailer Blockbuster is understood to be rolling out a standalone chain of games stores, a year after it sold its video games arm, Game Station, to Game Group.

The launch will aim to help Blockbuster secure a share of the burgeoning games sector. But a spokeswoman for the retailer declined to comment on the move, saying/ “We are not allowed to talk about company strategy.”

Last week, Blockbuster chief executive James Keyes talked about the company making a “bigger push” into video games and entertainment retail as he revealed its first quarter results. The US-owned company announced a net income of $45.4m (£23.1m) for the three months to April 6, compared with a prior-year net loss of $49m (£24.9m).

The move is likely to follow the $1.1bn (£550m) alliance between the world’s biggest electrical goods retailer BestBuy and Carphone Warehouse, which will see huge US-style stores opening across Europe next year.

Blockbuster is also thought to be developing a service that will allow customers to stream films directly to their TV sets. The new Blockbuster device is expected to launch this month and is understood to be a standalone product like Apple TV.

In the UK, Blockbuster head of marketing Katie O’Rourke has left the company. It is not known if she had a job to go to. O’Rourke, who joined Blockbuster two years ago (MW October 26, 2006), has yet to be replaced.

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