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HMV calls in administrators in UK for second time in six years

The company no longer has any stores in the Republic of Ireland – the five remaining stores here closed in 2016.

Image: Frank Augstein/PA

BRITISH MUSIC RETAILER HMV, which was launched by English composer Edward Elgar in 1921, has called in administrators after weak Christmas sales and amid a declining market for CDs and DVDs, its owner said.

His Master’s Voice (HMV), which is known worldwide for its iconic logo showing a dog listening to a record player, is the last major music retailer in Britain and has been suffering for years from the switch to streaming services.

Hilco Capital, a restructuring company which rescued HMV when it previously entered administration in 2013, said that the company had decided to appoint administrators again but its 125 stores in Britain would continue trading for the moment.

In 2016 HMV closed its five remaining stores in the Republic of Ireland, but stores in the UK remained open. The company employs around 2,200 people.

“It is disappointing to see the market, particularly for DVD, deteriorate so rapidly in the last 12 months as consumers switch at an ever-increasing pace to digital service,” said Paul McGowan, executive chairman of HMV and Hilco today.

“During the key Christmas trading period the market for DVD fell by over 30% compared to the previous year,” he said, adding that this decline was “unsustainable”.

“The switch to digital has accelerated dramatically this year, creating a void that we are no longer able to bridge,” McGowan said, adding that the physical music market in Britain is forecast to fall by around 17% next year.

“As a result, the directors have concluded that it will not be possible to continue to trade the business,” he added.

Since its last collapse, HMV had hosted a series of live events in store with musicians like pop star Kylie Minogue and grime artist Stormzy in a bid to increase footfall.

- © AFP 2018.

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