HMV administration confirmed by high court with Thanet in potential closure list

HMV at Westwood

The HMV store at Westwood Cross is one of a string that has appeared on a speculative at risk of closure list following the firm going into administration.

The Westwood Cross store employs 13 full time members of staff and had 4 Christmas temporary workers.

The list of potential store closures, which also includes the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells branches, is yet to be confirmed by KPMG and trading continues as usual for now.

The collapse is being blamed on a decline in the UK CD and DVD market with Christmas sales this year down 30% on 2017. It is the second time in 6 years administrators have been called in, the last being in 2013 when restructuring form Hilco came to the rescue.

At a hearing before a high court judge on December 28, Will Wright, Neil Gostelow and David Pike from KPMG’s Restructuring practice were confirmed as joint administrators to HMV Retail Limited and HMV Ecommerce Limited, the entertainment retailer.

The company operates 128 stores across the UK including 9 which operate under the Fopp brand, and employs approximately 2000 permanent staff.

The joint administrators will continue to trade the business as a going concern while they assess options, including exploring the possibility of a sale as a going concern.

HMV was founded in 1921 and over 97 years, has sold a range of products including audio, books, CDs, DVDs, video games, as well as an increasing range of movie, television and music merchandise.

Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said:“For decades, HMV has been one of the most iconic names on the high street.  Whilst we understand that it has continued to outperform the overall market decline in physical music and visual sales, as well as growing a profitable ecommerce business, the company has suffered from the ongoing wave of digital disruption sweeping across the entertainment industry.

“This has been in addition to the ongoing pressures facing many high street retailers, including weakening consumer confidence, rising costs and business rates pressures.

“Over the coming weeks, we will endeavour to continue to operate all stores as a going concern while we assess options for the business, including a possible sale. Customers with gift cards are advised that the cards will be honoured as usual, while the business continues to trade.”

6 Comments

  1. If only HMV could have foreseen the decline sales of CD’S & DVD’S to the online threat that came out of nowhere this year-but alas like Blockbuster Video not having any kind of warning that VHS tapes were falling out of favour there was nothing they could do. Sad for the staff, but maybe somebody can set up a chain store selling Gas Kettles, Manual Typewriters, Manual Cash Registers & Pricing Labeling Guns. for shops.

    • Their stores are overstocked & overpriced. I found two DVD sets I wanted recently about 20-25 pounds cheaper online than buying from them.

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