Morrisons has acquired six HMV stores from the retailer’s administrators Deloitte with plans to re-open them as Morrisons M local branches this summer. It marks the first sale of HMV stores since the music retailer went into administration at the start of the year. The six stores that have been lapped by Morrisons as part of its convenience store expansion operation are located in Chesterfield, Newbury, Enfield, Scarborough, Lancaster and Wood Green.
The supermarket which aims to take on Tesco and Sainsbury’s, has earlier expressed its expansion plans in London and the south-east in particular, however, the six stores are dotted around the country. The Yorkshire-based grocery business, a late entrant into the corner shop market, aims to open 70 of its M Local stores by the end of the year to compete with Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local. The purchase of HMV stores comes in the same week that Morrisons bought 49 of busted DVD rental retailer Blockbuster and acquired seven shops from the failed camera chain Jessops.
HMV fell into administration earlier this year which has led to 1,500 job losses already with 103 stores closures and a further 1,500 jobs in jeopardy. With acquisitions of such sorts, it can only be hoped that if not all, a few jobs could be saved.
Morrisons opened its first London convenience store on Monday and wants to open at least 70 by the end of the year. The supermarket chain is so keen to find new sites to set up its M stores that it is offering staff a £500 bonus if anyone can identify empty properties that can be turned into new stores.