New entrant WIND Mobile has well over 100 kiosks located within BlockBuster Canada stores, this will change by December 31st, 2011. On May 3rd BlockBuster Canada went into receivership, subsequently closing about 150 of their 400 locations in June.
Today, Grant Thornton, the company overseeing BlockBuster issued a press release stating they “conducted an extensive Court-approved sale process aimed at identifying a suitable purchaser of Blockbuster Canada Co.’s remaining business and operations on a going-concern basis. Ultimately an agreement with a suitable purchaser willing to make the necessary investments in the business as a going-concern could not be reached. Accordingly, the Receiver has recommended to the Court that it be authorized to, among other things, conduct an orderly wind-down of the Company’s operations.”
Apparently 14 companies made offers to purchase BlockBuster, including Rogers, Bell, HMV Canada and Sobeys, but none of them were accepted by Grant Thornton because there were “problematic terms/conditions”. WIND Mobile CEO Anthony Lacavera thought about proposing a mix retail environment that included a Wind Mobile store, a café franchise, a Yogen Fruz outlet, a convenience store and Blockbuster, but never went forward because it would be to complex to get approval from the receiver. Lacavera said “The average square footage is just too huge… We walked away from it. The stores, the footprint, are just too big to be useful.”
So it seems like WIND Mobile will lose a massive and needed part of their distribution. In May, Lacavera said that “We started thinking about backup plans months ago”… hopefully they’re ready to put the plan into action.