Blockbuster in Ooltewah and on Lee Highway set to close

Blockbuster in Ooltewah and on Lee Highway set to close

March 25th, 2011 by Ellis Smith in Business Around the Region

Blockbuster, which entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in 2010, will close two more stores in the Chattanooga area by April 10, according to store employees.

Both the Ooltewah Blockbuster at 9219 Lee Highway and the store at 2114 Gunbarrel Road are liquidating inventory on a first-come, first-served basis.

Some fixtures and any unsold items will be distributed to other Blockbusters in the area.

The two latest closures represent company efforts to close locations that are in leased structures, said Brett Walters, manager at the Ooltewah store.

There are six employees left there, he said, most of whom have already lined up other jobs.

Walters has decided to join the military.

At the Gunbarrel Road Blockbuster, Kaitlyn Sparrow said that all previous employees had quit when they found out the store was to be closed.

"They just tell you to try your hardest and you might get transferred to another store," Sparrow said.

When the video rental chain went bankrupt in September 2010, it had only 3,000 stores left, down from 9,100 in 2004, according to The Associated Press.

Blockbuster may be auctioned off to the highest bidder as part of its court-supervised restructuring, AP reported. The company has had to fight off attempts "seeking to immediately convert the company's Chapter 11 cases to liquidation cases under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code," the company said in a news release.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report