| 12.6°C Dublin

HMV on hunt for 100 staff as three stores to re-open

Close

HMV in Grafton St

HMV in Grafton St

HMV in Grafton St

HMV is to start recruiting around 100 staff this week ahead of the reopening of three Irish stores.

Shops on Dublin's Henry Street, at Liffey Valley shopping centre, Dundrum Centre and in Crescent Shopping Centre, Limerick, are set to roll up the shutters again within weeks.

It follows the closure of 16 outlets earlier this year that cost 300 jobs.

TALKS

Restructuring firm Hilco, which acquired 141 HMV stores from the administrator in the UK for a reported €59m, said in April it was in talks with a number of landlords with a view to re-establishing the business in Ireland.

And there is still hope that the landmark shop on Dublin's Grafton Street could be re-established at a later stage. The store is currently looking for a new tenant.

Hilco founder and chief executive Paul McGowan confirmed: "Deals have been done with landlords.

"It will take around six weeks, some stores have to be refitted, but Henry Street is ready to go."

Other possible locations include Cork and Galway city.

Mr McGowan also said they were "actively looking at stuff in the Irish market".

Asked if it included IBRC (former Anglo Irish Bank) assets, he said: "God, yeah."

"Hilco is also looking at "pharmaceutical, engineering and other areas here," he said.

As well as buying HMV from its administrators in the UK, the company also has turned around the HMV Canada business it bought in 2011.

The Hilco move shows real confidence in a recovery of the Irish economy, analysts said.

The landlord negotiations for the HMV stores in Ireland were brokered by Declan Stone at Colliers International.

"We have agreed terms on five locations and are on the deal acquisition trail with two or three more," he said.

Hilco has been involved in many high-profile UK retail restructurings, including Habitat, Woolworths and Borders.

The firm said previously that landlords and key suppliers have been supportive.

Ian Topping, who leads the Hilco team managing HMV, said in April that one immediate change would see them halt the sale of tablets.

They would also halt the sale of other devices to "reclaim the space for an enhanced music and visual range."

Competition from web-based retailers and digital downloads, compounded by other factors, including high rents, were blamed for HMV's earlier financial difficulties.

mlavery@herald.ie


Privacy