Morrison has bought 49 Blockbuster stores from the companies’ administrators, as it sets out on an accelerated expansion of its Morrisons M local convenience estate.
The move continues Morrison’s strategy of snapping up the assets of fallen high street giants, after it acquires seven Jessops stores earlier this year.
The Blockbuster purchase gives quick access to a number of high street and neighbourhood locations, particularly in the South East.
Morrisons hopes to have the stores trading by the end of summer, with at least 70 open by the end of 2013.
Gordon Mowat, managing director of Morrisons Convenience said: “We are rolling out the Morrisons M local estate at pace this year and these acquisitions give us a kick start in securing a solid foothold in this key sector.”
“The convenience market is growing as more people shop locally and we want to be in a position to take advantage of this.
“Morrisons M locals offer a differentiated fresh shopping experience with half the space dedicated to fresh food and scratch cooking all at great prices.”
Lee Manning, partner at Deloitte LLP, said: “This transaction represents a good deal for both the creditors of Blockbuster and Morrisons and we are pleased that these stores have found an alternative user that can create new employment.”
“This group of stores forms a proportion of the Blockbuster package announced for closure earlier this week and is expected to be the first of a number of group and individual store transactions to arise from the Blockbuster portfolio given the significant levels of occupier interest for many of the assets”.