Frozen food retailers are vying to take on former Blockbuster stores as restructuring firm Gordon Brothers plots a 300-store rescue to keep the retailer on the high street.
Gordon Brothers is thought to have bid for about 300 Blockbuster stores. Restructurer GA Europe is understood to have been interested in 150 stores but has backed away from a deal.
Iceland Foods, Heron Foods and Frozen Value are all eyeing the collapsed DVD rental chain’s store estate after it fell into administration in January. It is also thought Pets at Home is eyeing a handful of stores.
Heron Foods and Frozen Value are understood to each be interested in acquiring five stores to build on their store estates.
Yorkshire-based Heron Foods has more than 240 stores in the North and Midlands and last year acquired 54 Cooltrader stores from Iceland. Earlier this year, Heron appointed retail veteran and former Jacksons Stores director Mike Igoe as its new commercial director.
Barnsley-based Frozen Value, which also trades as Jack Fulton and Fultons Foods, has expanded slowly over the last decade from 65 to just over 100 stores.
Iceland this week confirmed it has acquired five former Blockbuster stores to build on its 786-store estate, as tipped by Retail-Week.com on Friday.
Iceland founder Malcolm Walker stated his ambition to open 15-20 stores a year after buying back the business he founded in 1970 for £1.4bn last year.
The retailer is looking to build on its UK store estate and explore international opportunities including in the Czech Republic where it opened its first trial store last year.
Deloitte has begun a process to shrink Blockbuster’s estate to a smaller core business and has already revealed intentions to close 293 stores. Grocer Morrisons acquired 49 former Blockbuster stores last month to aid its expansion in the convenience sector.
The major grocers are engaged in a property battle to grab smaller stores to aid expansion in the growing convenience sector.
Property firm Savills has been appointed by Deloitte to advise on the Blockbuster portfolio. It had 528 stores and employed 4,200 people when it collapsed.