Financial News

  • 8 February 2013, 12:44

HMV Axes 66 Stores And 930 Staff

Administrators for collapsed entertainment retailer HMV are to close 66 stores resulting in 930 job losses.

In a statement, the joint administrators said: "No fixed date is set for the closure of these stores which will continue to trade in the meantime. However, it is expected that closures will take place over the next one to two months."

HMV currently operates from 220 stores in the UK.

Nick Edwards, joint administrator, commented: "As part of our ongoing review of HMV's financial position, we have now completed a review of the store portfolio and have identified 66 loss making stores for closure. 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. All other key stakeholders remain very supportive and I continue to be hopeful of securing a future for the restructured business."

HMV called in administrators in early January after suffering dismal Christmas sales, which put more than 4,000 jobs at risk.

It was one of three well-known high street firms to go into administration in the New Year as Britain's high streets struggled against online sales.

Shortly after taking charge, the administrators said the chain would no longer honour gift vouchers and cards but soon confirmed a U-turn amid a storm of protest from consumers.

Retail restructuring group Hilco UK has acquired HMV's debt, effectively giving it control of the administrator-managed entertainment chain.

The debt purchase, which boosted the prospect of a full rescue for HMV, has been taken from the books of its lenders, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds.

HMV's net debt last October stood at 176m but it struggled to find a niche that would give it an advantage over online retail alternatives.

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