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Friday 19 September 2014

Administrator to close 66 HMV shops

Published 07/02/2013 | 10:47

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The HMV shops will continue to trade but the closures are expected over the next one to two months

HMV's administrators are to close 66 shops at the music chain in a move set to cost nearly 1,000 jobs.

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Deloitte said the shops would continue to trade but the 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."

The group, which currently has 220 UK stores, called in the administrators last month, but hopes of a rescue deal have been raised after restructuring firm Hilco - the group behind HMV Canada - bought the company's debt.

Deloitte said the 66 shops, which employ 930 people, were all loss-making. They include five outlets in Edinburgh and three in Glasgow. The closure plans come after the group axed nearly 190 jobs across its offices and distribution centres last month.

Staff used the company's official Twitter account to announce their own "mass execution" with workers tweeting live about redundancies being made across HMV's offices and distribution centres.

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.

The store closures come amid the high profile collapses of camera chain Jessops and DVD and game rental business Blockbuster last month. Administrators closed all of Jessops' 187 stores after it collapsed, but sold the business to a group of buyers that includes Dragon's Den star Peter Jones.

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