Wednesday 28 September 2016

Xtra-vision gets set to shut 28 of its stores

Fiona Dillon, Donal O'Donovan and Caroline Crawford

Published 21/11/2015 | 02:30

Xtra-Vision in Fairview Dublin
Xtra-Vision in Fairview Dublin

DVD rental chain Xtra-vision is planning to close 28 stores, and close to 90 employees are likely to be affected.

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DVD rental chain Xtra-vision is planning to close 28 stores, and close to 90 employees are likely to be affected.

The continued decline in rental DVDs is understood to be behind the shock decision.

However, it appears at this point that the stores will remain open until the end of January.

A spokesperson for Xtra-vision confirmed that in terms of jobs, the decision puts 55 full-time and 31 "full-time equivalent" positions at risk - these are likely to be made up of a larger number of part-time staff.

The company released a statement confirming store closures and said that a consultation process was under way with its staff.

Rumours that the closures were going to happen began to emerge before lunchtime yesterday.

The statement from the company said: "Xtra-vision, Ireland's leading DVD rental store chain, confirms that it has begun a consultation process with its employees ahead of the expected closure of 28 stores.

"The group has taken the decision not to renew leases that were due to come to an end from 1 February 2016 given the continued decline in rental DVDs.

"Reflecting the changing dynamic in consumer behaviour as customers favour the retail opportunity in the entertainment market, Xtra-vision is condensing its store portfolio to a smaller number of focused retail locations, while remaining dedicated to its investment in Xtra-vision Express; its vending machines operation, and its online channels, which are proving increasingly popular with customers," it stated.

Meanwhile, it was business as usual at Xtra-vision stores yesterday.

"We can't say anything," a staff member told the Irish Independent at a Dublin branch.

At the Xtra-vision outlet at Galway Shopping Centre, staff were busy with the Christmas rush and did not wish to comment.

A large consignment of Christmas box sets had just been delivered to the busy store, which remains hugely popular with locals. One shopper explained that box sets were what brought him continually back to the store.

"They have a great selection and it's easy to just pop in and pick one up. I prefer that to the likes of Netflix. There has been talk about it closing before but it always survives, I hope it continues to," he said.

HMV owner Hilco Capital bought Xtra-vision in 2013. Gerry Butler, CEO of HMV and Xtra-vision, said in January that the roll-out of HMV departments to many of its Xtra-vision stores had made physical music products available in areas not previously covered by retailers.

Irish Independent

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