Losing HMV will be blow to town

By Harriet Ernstsons Tuesday 15 January 2013 Updated: 15/01 17:07

REDDITCH could lose its only dedicated music store after national chain HMV called in administrators.

Bosses appointed Deloitte LLP this week, putting 239 stores at risk, including the branch in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre which employs around 15 people.

The company has struggled due to competition from online retailers, supermarkets and digital downloading.

The store, which was brought in to the centre about ten years ago as part of the extension and revamp by previous owners Thornfield, would become the 22nd empty unit if the business could not be saved, following on from the loss of Jessops on Friday (January 11) when the company collapsed.

A statement from the HMV Group released on Tuesday (January 15) said the board did not feel the company could continue trading outside of 'insolvency protection'.

"The directors of the company understand it is the intention of the administrators, once appointed, to continue to trade whilst they seek a purchaser for the business."

Shoppers have also vented their frustration as the store is not currently accepting gift cards which many bought in good faith during the Christmas period.

Redditch based expert Ros Sidaway, who runs The Retail Coach, said she was not surprised HMV had called in administrators.

"They will have to go through every store look at its performance, size and location. Hopefully they will be able to rescue something and I think we will see some form of HMV come back, probably about 75 to 80 stores," she said.

"As it is the only record shop in Redditch Town Centre it stands a better chance but it will depend on the overheads for that store.

"It will be a big blow to the Kingfisher Centre as it is an anchor store and there are a few big gaps coming in now that are not going to be filled quickly.

"Supermarkets have played their part as well as online downloading but they don't stock a back catalogue and don't do vinyl, which has seen a resurgence, so there's an opportunity for the independents to come in and take up some of that slack.

"It just reflects changing times. We will see big changes on the high street and in future it won't all be about shopping, that will be a small part, which will suit the independents."

The announcement comes less than a week after the collapse of Jessops, which saw staff at Redditch among the 1,370 workers losing their jobs as 187 stores shut nationwide.

Administrators PwC said: "This is an extremely sad day for Jessops and its employees. We are very grateful for the support we have received since our appointment and we will continue to ensure employees are paid as they assist us during the closure."

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