Saturday 7 December 2019

300 jobs at risk as HMV shuts Irish stores after receiver called in

HMV closed its 16 Irish stores today after a receiver was appointed to assess their viability, putting 300 jobs at risk. It came a day after the company sought protection from creditors in Britain.

After years of struggling against competition from online retailers, supermarkets and download sites, Deloitte was appointed administrator in Britain on Tuesday to try to salvage some of its 223 British stores.

However the retailer requested today that a receiver be appointed to its Irish operations, which employs around 300 people. Unlike administration, known as examinership in Ireland, receivership is not aimed at keeping the company operating as a going concern.

While the retailer's British stores have remained open, a notice on the shut doors of its flagship unit on Grafton Street said it was "closed until further notice."

"The receiver will institute an assessment of the viability of the company and its cost structure, including property occupational costs. All efforts will be made by the receiver to secure a purchaser for the stores," Deloitte Ireland said in a statement.

Retailers in the main shopping centres saw costs soar during a national property boom that burst spectacularly in 2008, sparking a financial crisis that pushed Ireland into an EU/IMF bailout and left the likes of HMV saddled with high rents and collapsed demand for its products.

While Ireland has avoided returning to recession like much of the euro zone, its mild economic growth is driven by robust exports with consumer spending set to contract again this year.


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