independent

Friday 18 April 2014

HMV administrators to close 66 of 220 stores in UK

ADMINISTRATORS at troubled retailer HMV will close 66 of the chain's stores, resulting in nearly 1,000 jobs being axed.

Seven outlets in Northern Ireland are among those that will see the shutters come down. The stores are in Ballymena, Boucher Road and Forestside in Belfast, Lisburn, Derry, Newry and Newtownabbey.

The 66 stores earmarked for closure represent about a third of HMV's overall portfolio in the UK. Last week, the company, which went into administration last month following a long period of trading difficulties, also sacked 190 people at its head office.

All the outlets being closed are loss-making, according to administrators Deloitte. It said that the stores will continue to trade in the short-term, but will close over the next one to two months. HMV has a total of 220 stores in the UK.

The accountancy firm was also appointed as receiver to HMV's Irish outlets last month. The retailer has 16 outlets in the Republic that employ about 300 people.

Staff at stores in Limerick, Tallaght, Dublin and Cork were among those who staged sit-ins as they fought to secure pay they were owed by the failed retailer.

Deloitte temporarily shut all the Irish HMV outlets before re-opening them.

The Game group has approached Deloitte with a view to acquiring some of the HMV outlets, while interest in the business has also come from private equity groups.

"As part of our on-going 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," said Nick Edwards, a joint administrator with Deloitte.

"This step has been taken in order to enhance the prospects of securing the business's 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," he added.

"All other key stakeholders remain very supportive and I continue to be hopeful of securing a future for the restructured business."

Irish Independent

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