HMV goes into administration for second time in six years

Image    The chain trades from 130 shops and employs about 2,200 people

Image The chain trades from 130 shops and employs about 2,200 people

HMV, known for its iconic logo featuring the "dog and trumpet", is the UK's last surviving national music retail chain.

HMV's 125 stores in the United Kingdom will stay open as the company negotiates with suppliers in the music and movie industries, according to a statement Friday.

The company employs around 2,200 people.

Paul McGowan, executive chairman of Hilco Capital said: "During the key Christmas trading period the market for DVD fell by over 30% compared to the previous year and, whilst HMV performed considerably better than that, such a deterioration in a key sector of the market is unsustainable".

A statement from Hilco blamed "extremely weak" Christmas sales and the decline of the CD and DVD market.

The shift away from CDs and DVDs to streaming services has only intensified since Hilco saved HMV six years ago, as Apple, Netflix and Spotify continue to dominate the battle for eyes and ears.

He pointed out HMV sold 31 percent of all physical music in the United Kingdom in 2018 and 23 percent of all DVDs and Blu-rays, with its market share growing month by month throughout the year.

"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", he added.

HMV - short for "his master's voice" - dates back to 1921 when its first store on London's Oxford Street was officially opened by the composer Sir Edward Elgar.

It made history in 1962 when record label EMI, which belonged to HMV until 1996, signed The Beatles.

The firm saw HMV host live events in store, with musicians including Kylie Minogue, Stormzy and The Darkness.

Their sources say there were "desperate last-ditch" talks with suppliers, and also discussions with "leading names in the recorded music industry to seek financial support" from them. "Poor Christmas trading has claimed its first victim", he said.

The electronics retailer Maplin, the British branch of Toys'R'Us and the discount chain Poundworld all collapsed in 2018.

In 2013 administrators faced an angry backlash after initially telling customers their gift vouchers would not be honoured - before making a U-turn.

Some 150,000 jobs have been lost in Britain's retail sector this year, according to an estimate by Britain's Press Association news agency.

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