UK: HMV administrators in U-turn over acceptance of gift vouchers
15:53 21 January 2013
THE administrators of ailing music and DVD retailer HMV have bowed to public pressure and said they will accept gift cards.
Despite HMV continuing to sell gift cards until the day before the music chain collapsed, administrators Deloitte stopped accepting them once appointed to the business last week.
But amid a storm of protest from consumers, Deloitte today said gift cards and vouchers will be redeemed in stores from tomorrow.
Administrator Nick Edwards said the decision had been made after assessing HMV’s financial position.
He also said proceeds of charity releases, including the Hillsborough Justice Collective single, would be paid in full as soon as possible.
He added: “We recognise that both of these matters have caused concern for individuals and organisations affected and we are pleased to have reached a positive outcome.”
Mr Edwards said Deloitte was still assessing the longer term options for the business and was hopeful the process would result in the business continuing as a going concern.
HMV hit the wall last week after suffering dismal Christmas sales, putting more than 4,000 jobs at risk at its 223 stores.
Entertainment giants including Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony are planning to offer potential buyers for HMV generous credit terms and cut the price of CDs and DVDs to help keep the chain’s presence on the high street, it was reported at the weekend.
Fears that consumers would lose out on gift vouchers and cards last week prompted experts to call for an urgent change in the rules.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of consumer watchdog Which?, said it was “outrageous” that consumers were left out of pocket when retailers refused to honour gift vouchers.
Dean Dunham, the founder of youandyourrights.co.uk, also called for change.
He said: “A gift voucher should be as good as a banker’s draft. You should be guaranteed that you’ll either be able to redeem it or get your money back.”