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Updated: Blockbuster Seeks Bankruptcy Advice, Report Says; Company Denies It

imageUpdated: *Blockbuster* spokeswoman Karen Raskopf denied the claim, acknowledging that they’d hired the firm for refinancing — not bankruptcy (via Bloomberg).

*Blockbuster* hasn’t released its Q408 numbers yet — but with reports that the company has retained legal counsel for a potential bankruptcy filing, there’s no need to wait until then to know that its losses have continued to mount. Bloomberg reports that Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) hired Kirkland & Ellis, LLP to help evaluate a number of restructuring options; though neither party would confirm, the news sent Blockbuster’s stock down by as much as 86 percent before trading was halted. Rival Netflix’s shares were up more than 6 percent.

Blockbuster has a heavy debt load and has done everything, including trying to renegotiate lease prices for about a third of its stores, to help cut some of it down. It has also tried lowering rental prices of some movies to 99 cents, beefing up its mail-order service with games, and even launched a streaming video player to lure consumers back from competitors like Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) and Redbox. But clearly, it hasn’t been enough. Then, there was Blockbuster’s failed bid to buy out Circuit City last year — wonder if there’s a buyer left out there with pockets deep enough to get the movie retailer out of its own hole.

7 Responses to “Updated: Blockbuster Seeks Bankruptcy Advice, Report Says; Company Denies It”

  1. I agree that the management at Blockbuster does a horrible job running their stores. My store manager actually buys weed off of one of the employees. And the guy selling it to him says that he never has to worry about losing his job because of it. Now he gets more hours lately when other employees that actually deserve the hours have had theirs cut badly. Most district managers pay no attention to what their store managers are actually doing or what kind of relationships they have with their employees. The cocky bastards that get lucky enough to be promoted into a store manager position basically think that they're gods in their stores. They have to take it up the ass everyday from the district manager, so they turn around and treat their employees like shit. They believe that they have sooooo much power over the other human beings working under them. It's a little ridiculous. But hey, most district managers and store managers are just losers anyway that couldn't really do anything else with their lives and they end up taking their shitty lives out on the kids working part time under them. You know… The kids that are atually going to school and working towards doing something better in their lives. I think that more employees should stand up for themselves. It's not hard to take down an inappropiate manager. Employees do have HR on their side. At least they're supposed to. Anyway, with all that being said, Blockbuster is the worst place I've ever worked for and I hope that when they do go out of business, and they will, that the asshole district managers and store managers have to BEG their former employees for jobs down the line when they've actually made something of themselves.

  2. Werid One

    Well let me tell you something "Are you kidding me?" Im with Amanda on this one. I work for the company and they have cut hours, one week i got 4.5 hours, last week i got 24, this week 15, next 10. So yeah……Her anger is justified when you have bills to pay. They tell you to sell, sell, sell and you will get hours. I sold 9 rewards one night and my hours didnt get increased. When i was hired there i was told that i would be getting 30 hours a week. With in a year, the most hours i have received in a week, was 24. And when your manager says, "you better sell or its you ass" it really doesnt create a posative work place. Or when your manager says "I will fire everyone here before i lose my job" So yeah i would think blockbuster is a sinking ship. What would you do with a drunken sailor?

  3. Are you kidding me?

    Curtis…thats sad that your holding onto so much anger for this woman trying to just do her job…do you think she really knows what to say to you when your irate and ripping a membership card up in her face? I feel sorry for you and personally I have worked in customer service for yearsssss and I wouldnt have done anything for you either. Think of how many people that womanhad to deal with in just that one day yelling at her…dont you think it might have been a better approach to try to be nice and intelligent about the situation? Then maybe she would have helped you…apparently you have NEVER worked in customer service….the irate childish customers never get their way because no matter what is done for them they will always have an issue and are better off not coming back!

    Oh and AMANDA…COMMMMMONNNNNNN GIRL! With that attitude do you really expect to get hours? Who would want someone with such a negative attitude about the company working for them? Im guessing you were one of those people they were paying 15.00 an hour to be a manager because obviously you dont have common sence….

    I think the decline of our economy does not have to do with the products or services any company is dealing out to the public. It has so much more to do with the decline of our generations morals and values that come along with being decent human beings and honorable adults! We complain and complain about every little thing that doesnt go 150% exactly how we want it instead of looking at the bigger picture….Our societies absolute hunger for greed and self indulgence is exactly what the problem truely is…Back to the basics is exactly where we have to go to try and correct this economic disaster we are currently a part of…

  4. Blockbuster just plain right sucks. I just quit my job there because they started taking hours from people there because their sales were down for jus that period.. they were suppose to go back up this month.. well they didnt and that is why because they are way to exspensvie…and they are paying dumbass people 15.00 bucks a hour to be a owrthless piece of manager

  5. Curtis

    Of course they are denying talks of bankruptcy! They are countering this report so that what is left of their customers will stick with them in the long haul!

    Take GM for example. The CEO of this company is obviously born stupid! Rick Wagoner said last year: "Bankruptcy is not a viable option. Nobody will want to buy from a bankrupt company." HELLO?!?!?!?!? Nobody is buying from your company now, STUPID!! Even GM's own analysts now say that bankruptcy is now a viable option and is potentially swaying GM's stance on this issue. Wagoner is such a moron!

    I can understand why Rick doesn't want the bankruptcy option to go through, which at this point, seems very possible being that GM's own analysts announced today that the company will probably not survive EVEN WITH GOVERNMENT AID.

    All the top management (including Wagoner) will be immediately fired if GM goes for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. To that I say, GOOD! Maybe under Chapter 11, GM will be smarter and actually hire an intelligent person that knows what he/she's doing! Wagoner, along with Nardelli from Chrysler have both sucessfully destroyed their own companies! At least Mulally from Ford knows what the heck he's doing! They're actually making progress, something that GM and Chrysler obviously don't know the meaning of! I could picture these top execs at GM and Chrysler right now, in a nice plush executive office building on the top floor, playing mini-golf and throwing darts at a dart board blindfolded. Gee, that must be how they do their day-to-day operations, which is why these two dummy companies (GM and Chrysler) need GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE! At least Ford is smart enough to execute their day-to-day operations without a single cent of government aid. They don't even want a line of credit, but if conditions don't improve, they might need it, but they are in far better shape than the other two, which is all why I own a Ford. A Ford is built with high quality materials that now compares to Toyota and Honda, many models are becoming fuel efficient, with the 2010 Fusion Hybrid now beating out the Camry in fuel efficiency (40+ MPG HWY), and the management (not exactly bright….ehm….Mark Fields…..) is well….improving! Bye Bye GM! Adieu Chrysler!

  6. Curtis

    I used to like Blockbuster and go there all the time.

    About two years ago I got charged a late fee for a movie rental, WHEN I RETURNED IT A DAY EARLY!!!! I refused to pay the fee and the ditzy woman over the counter tried to argue with me about it. I then ripped up my Blockbuster membership card in front of her face, left the ripped up remains on the counter and told her that the company just lost another customer (I said "another" to make her mad; it worked, haha!) I have not set foot in that place since. Plus, some of their DVD and video game prices are outrageous! Why go to media rental stores like Blockbuster anyway when you can use something like Comcast's nifty OnDemand and rent movies that way, or just use NetFlix? As a nice bonus, OnDemand's prices are much cheaper than Blockcrapper's, and you get a nice picture that comes in too.

    Having a clear picture/sound with Blockbuster's abused (or overused) DVDs/Video tapes or video games was rare. Then again, it is just your average DVD/video store. Good riddance Blockbuster! The staff was pretty rude and unprofessional too, but I wll feel sorry for them (losing their jobs) if they do indeed go bankrupt, except for the stupid ditz that said I had to pay a late fee for a DVD that WASN'T LATE!! It seems to me that Blockbuster really needs to go back to the drawing board and rethink the terms "good management" and "employee training". Whoops, better tell that to General Motors!