Chartbusters closes with loss of 87 jobs

 

DVD RENTAL chain Chartbusters confirmed yesterday it is set to be wound up, with the loss of 87 jobs.

The company stated it has closed all 16 stores in the Republic and that directors plan to place it in voluntary liquidation.

Chartbusters blamed the “severe and unprecedented” recession for falling revenues and added that, despite its best efforts, it had not been able to cut costs sufficiently.

The statement said Chartbusters had talks with prospective buyers for the majority of its properties, but said these ran into difficulties because landlords were charging unsustainably high rents, a number of which are subject to “upwards only” review clauses.

“In these circumstances the company’s directors have taken the difficult decision to cease trading the business with immediate effect,” the statement added.

Chartbusters employed 22 full-time and 65 part-time workers, all of whom have lost their jobs.

It intends holding a creditors’ meeting at the Holiday Inn on Dublin’s Pearse Street on November 12th. It is understood the directors will nominate accountant Tom Keane of Dublin firm BKRM as liquidator.

Creditors will have the option of nominating and voting for their own candidate for that position at the meeting.

Chartbusters began as a video rental business in the early 1990s, but branched into internet kiosks and tanning booths as competition put rental under pressure over the last decade. Sources said yesterday that its DVD operation has continued to decline this year, while controversy over health risks has hit demand for tanning booths.

A number of local authorities and businesses have registered judgments against the company in recent months. These include Ardkeen Shopping Centre in Waterford, which has two judgments totalling almost €75,000; and South Dublin County Council, to which it owes €62,000.

Chartbusters successfully emerged from examinership in April 2009 three months after it sought High Court protection from its creditors.