HMV Saved From Collapse, But 27 Stores Close

Canadian Sunrise Records have purchased famous UK music chain HMV. This purchase by Sunrise Records chief executive Doug Putman beat out offers from others, including Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley.

100 stores will be bought out of administration, which is going to save 1,487 jobs. However, 27 HMV stores will close. This will lead lead to 455 redundancies and a further 122 warehouse jobs will also be lost.

Putman stated that he was “delighted to acquire the most iconic music and entertainment business in the UK.” Putman also told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that HMV is a “fantastic, heritage brand”.

What happened?

HMV collapsed into administration around Christmas. Currently, the belief is that the decline in UK high streets and competition from streaming sites caused this. In the UK, sales of physical music, DVDs/blurays and video games fell by 11.4% last year. This is led by a near 17% slide in sales of DVDs and other physical film formats. As a result, HMV suffered throughout the holiday season.

However, many journalists and analysts are praising Putman for buying HMV. Many see it as important to keep HMV’s focus on music. Therefore to have the chain purchased by a music lover is to be celebrated. Thus it seems that most of the UK will continue to see a physical music presence, and with vinyl and cassette sales rising, it is possible for music stores to have another heyday.

On Radio 4, Putman continued “It is very clear that the customer wants more selection on vinyl, more depth of catalogue. In the meantime, there’s no doubt that online is a big part of overall retail sales. Ultimately,  people like to come into a store, have an experience, talk with someone who understands music, loves music, loves video and entertainment. If you think online is the only future I don’t think that is the case.”

No price for the buy out has been revealed.

As a result, HMV’s flagship on Oxford Street, London is one of the stores to close. Sadly the closure of this store ends a near century long presence of HMV on the country’s most famous shopping street. HMV Oxford Street opened its doors in 1921 by Sir Edward Elgar, a famous composer.

HMV stores set to close are:

Apart from working as a music journalist, David works in communications within the charity sector. He's a big fan of everything travel, coffee and dogs and a complete expert on everything Bastille and Lorde.
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