By Duncan Brodie
Friday, February 8, 2013
THE administrators of collapsed music and entertainment retailer HMV are to close 66 of its shops, with the loss of nearly 1,000 jobs.
Deloitte said the shops would continue to trade for the time being but that closures were expected over the next one to two months.
Administrator Nick Edwards said the shops had been identified as part of an ongoing review of the company’s financial position and the group still hoped to secure a future for the restructured business.
He said: “This step has been taken in order to enhance the prospects of securing the business’ future as a going concern.
“We continue to receive strong support from staff and are extremely grateful to them for their commitment during an understandably difficult period.”
HMV called in the administrators last month, but hopes of a rescue deal have since been raised after restructuring firm Hilco, the group behind HMV Canada, bought the UK company’s debt.
There are currently has around 240 HMV stores, including branches in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Colchester and Chelmsford. None of these are among the 66 identified for closure in today’s statement from the administrators.
Deloitte said that all the shops facing closure, which employ a total of 930 people, were loss making. Nearly 190 jobs across HMV’s offices and distribution centres were axed shortly after the appointment of the administrators last month.
Staff used the company’s official Twitter account to announce their own “mass execution” with workers tweeting live about redundancies as they were informed.
But there was better news for 200 staff at the collapsed group this week after Deloitte offloaded its remaining entertainment venues.
HMV’s majority shareholding in G-A-Y Group, which comprises a number of bars and Heaven nightclubs, has been sold to the founder and other shareholder in the business, Jeremy Joseph.
Hilco is thought to be talking to suppliers and HMV’s landlords as part of its plans to salvage the group. Reports suggest Hilco wants to rescue about half of the shops in the UK as it looks to repeat the strategy that has seen it turn around HMV’s Canadian arm, which it bought in 2011.
Hilco has declined to comment on its plans for the business.
Today’s announcement means that HMV stores in the following locations will close: Ashton-under-Lyne, Ballymena, Barnsley, Bayswater, Belfast Boucher Road, Belfast Forestside, Bexleyheath, Birkenhead, Birmingham Fort, Blackburn, Boston, Bournemouth Castlepoint, Bracknell, Burton-upon-Trent, Camberley, Chesterfield, Coleraine, Craigavon, Croydon Centrale, Derry, Dumfries, Durham, Edinburgh Fort, Edinburgh Gyle Centre, Edinburgh Ocean, Edinburgh Princes Street, Edinburgh St James, Falkirk, Fulham, Glasgow Fort, Glasgow Silverburn, Glasgow Braehead, Huddersfield, Kirkcaldy, Leamington Spa, Leeds White Rose, Lisburn, Loughborough, Luton, Manchester, Moorgate, Newry, Newtonabbey, Orpington, Rochdale, Scunthorpe, South Shields, Speke Park, St Albans, St Helens, Stockton-on-Tees, Tamworth, Teesside Retail Park, Telford, London Trocadero, Wakefield, Walsall, Walton-on-Thames, Wandsworth, Warrington, Watford, Wellingborough, Wigan, Wood Green, Workington, Wrexham.