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British music retailer HMV files for insolvency; puts 2,200 jobs at risk

The retailer, one of Britain's best-known high street stores, went into administration in 2013 before its rescue by restructuring specialist Hilco

Reuters 

HMV, HMV MUSIC, HMV RETAILER
HMV was opened on London's Oxford Street by English composer Edward Elgar in 1921 and made famous by the image of the 'dog and trumpet'. (PHOTO: @hmvtweets)

Music retailer said it was calling in the administrators, blaming a worsening market for CDs and DVDs, to become the latest victim of brutal trading conditions in Britain's sector.

The accounting firm has been named as the and intends to keep the business running while it seeks a potential buyer, said in a statement on Friday.

The retailer, one of Britain's best-known high street stores, went into administration in 2013 before its rescue by restructuring specialist Hilco, but it has since been hit by competition from and

reported earlier that about 2,200 jobs were at risk if went into administration, adding that the company had been in talks with leading names in the recorded music industry for funding but that those discussions came to nothing.

HMV was opened on London's Oxford Street by English in 1921 and made famous by the image of the 'dog and trumpet'.

"During the key trading period the market for fell by over 30 percent compared to the previous year and, whilst HMV performed considerably better than that, such a deterioration in a key sector of the market is unsustainable," said Paul McGowan, of HMV and its owner Hilco Capital, which paid around 50 million pounds ($63.47 million) for the group in 2013.

Britain's retailers had been hoping would revive spending after a year for much of the sector that has seen a string of store groups go out of business or close shops.

Weakening consumer spending, uncertainty over Britain's exit from the European Union, rising labour costs and higher business property taxes, has spread gloom across the industry.

In the years running up to its first rescue in 2013, HMV struggled to hold its own against supermarkets and online services in sales of CDs, and video games.

More recently, traditional players in the music industry have been hit by the growing popularity of such as and Apple Music, which this year became the recording industry's single biggest revenue source.

HMV, which had a hand in the Beatles' big break in the 1960s, recommending the group's demo record to publishers, had around 230 stores and over 4,000 staff before it went into administration in 2013. It currently has 125 stores around Britain and employs 2,025 people.

 

($1 = 0.7878 pounds)

 

 

First Published: Fri, December 28 2018. 18:24 IST
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