Morrisons snaps up 49 Blockbuster branches

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The Independent Online

In a rare piece of good news for the retail sector, supermarket Morrisons has bought 49 Blockbuster stores from the DVD rental group's administrator, Deloitte.

This follows on from Morrisons' purchase of seven branches that had belonged to Jessops, the failed camera chain.

The country's fourth-biggest supermarket is looking to expand its Morrisons M convenience store brand, which takes on the smaller store format of its rivals, such as Tesco Express.

At least 70 Morrisons M shops are expected to open by the end of the year, starting with the London and the South-East . They were previously known as M Local.

The news came as it emerged retail moguls Mike Ashley and Sir Stuart Rose are picking over the remnants of the Republic fashion chain, which went into administration last week. Former Marks & Spencer boss Sir Stuart wants to add to the 60 stores Blue Inc, which he now chairs, has in its portfolio.