Troubled UK entertainment retailer HMV has exited administration after being rescued by restructuring firm Hilco. A deal has been struck with administrator Deloitte that will ensure all 141 remaining stores will continue to open for business, including nine Fopp-branded shops.
Interestingly, one of the early moves by Hilco will be to ditch the sale of tablets and other devices in favour of reinforcing the chain's original remit, enhancing its music, DVD and Blu-ray presence.
"This is an exciting investment for the Hilco team and we will be able to use some of the developments already progressed in Canada to restore HMV to health," said Hilco exec Ian Topping. "We intend to reverse the earlier decisions to sell tablets and other devices in the stores and to reclaim the space for an enhanced music and visual range.
"The reaction of the British public to the administration of HMV shows a strong desire for the business to continue to trade and we hope to play a constructive part in delivering that."
Hilco's chief executive Paul McGowan will become chairman of HMV. As suggested by Topping, Hilco also acquired HMV Canada when it too was facing financial troubles. It has since surpassed all expectations.
The British Video Association is suitably bouyed by the news that the UK will continue to have a high street chain dedicated to the sale of entertainment media. "There is relief all round that HMV’s continued presence on the high street is assured through this announcement," said Lavinia Carey, the BVA's director-general.
"Our industry has worked hard to support HMV, given it was by far the largest single video retailer and the only national specialist in 2012. Its importance as a destination for consumers wishing to purchase packaged media cannot be underestimated. Data shows that 24 million GB shoppers bought a video disc in 2012 and 17.4 per cent of those were sold in HMV, accounting for 20 per cent of the total expenditure on discs."
There is a sense of irony in the fact that Game, a company to also come out of administration in the last year or so, has announced that it will start to sell tablets soon, just as HMV blames the sale of such devices on its close brush with death.
What do you think of HMV dropping tablet and device sales? Do you favour an old fashioned CD, DVD and Blu-ray store? Let us know in the comments below...
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