HMV, which fell into administration a few weeks ago, has announced 37 store closures, affecting 464 jobs, bringing the job cuts tally at the collapsed chain to 1,500. The stores that are closing down include four Heathrow airport sites, along with another store in Glasgow, where three store closures have already been announced. While, HMV administrators announced closure of 103 stores in the next couple of weeks, the flagship Oxford Street store will remain open for the time being.
HMV called in administrators in January after registering poor Christmas sales and debts of up to £170m. Some hope for the company’s future was felt after a temporary deal was struck with film studios and music labels to ensure new releases, such as the Bond film Skyfall and Madagascar 3. Negotiations with restructuring specialist Hilco continue after it acquired the secured debts from Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group.
The company had already bought HMV Canada in 2011 and has built relationships with several distributors. Earlier this month, HMV administrators said they would shut 66 shops across the country, with the loss of 1,000 jobs. When HMV collapsed in January its gift cards worth £7m were suspended, but were later reinstated after severe customer backlash.
According to joint administrator Nick Edwards the HMV store closures have been initiated in order to enhance the prospects of the restructured business continuing as a going concern. ”Together with the previously identified 66 closures, this restructuring will result in a residual portfolio of some 116 stores”, Nick Edwards said. HMV staff have been notified that their jobs will be axed.