Eighteen jobs at Xtra-vision go as eight stores shut
Eighteen jobs will be lost when the Xtra-vision DVD chain closes eight of its stores in Northern Ireland by the end of January.
Yesterday the company confirmed that it was closing stores in Lurgan, Banbridge, Armagh, Newcastle, Warrenpoint, Larne, Cookstown and Limavady.
It follows the closure of its Londonderry and Strabane outlets in January this year when Xtra-vision was sold to new owners after going into receivership the year before.
A further 10 part-time jobs are also expected to be cut.
The demise of the DVD and video rental stores has been blamed on the boom in online streaming.
However, while its stores are closing, the creation of Xtra-vision Express' concessions have increased.
It is understood that only the stores in Dungannon, Omagh and Magherafelt will remain in Northern Ireland after February.
Owners Hilco Capital Ireland - which also owns HMV - confirmed yesterday that it had begun a consultation process with its employees ahead of the "expected closure" of the eight stores.
Its statement said: "The group has taken the decision not to renew leases that were due to come to an end from the 1st 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."