Thousands of jobs at risk as HMV nears collapse

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

A third local store, at Castlepoint, closed during HMV's previous spell in administration in 2013.

The 97-year-old company, owned by restructuring firm Hilco Capital, entered insolvency procedures for the second time in six years, threatening 2,025 jobs.

The group, which has stores in Norwich's Chapelfield, as well as in King's Lynn, has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators amid a cash crisis.

The failure of another major high street name before the year is up would cap a miserable 12 months for the retail sector.

The company added that buyers were also being sought to take over the business.

It was launched by English composer Edward Elgar in 1921, selling gramophones, radios and popular music hall recordings.

Hilco has today (December 28) confirmed that it has now appointed KPMG as its administrator.

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Executive chairman Paul McGowan said consumers had switched "at an ever increasing pace" to digital downloads instead.

The company almost went bust in 2013, when it was taken over by current owners Hilco Capital.

Mr McGowan said efforts had been made to drive down costs through agreements with landlords and the use of technology.

"Our High Streets are under pressure like never before with stores facing online competition while they pay Business Rates, and falling customer confidence amidst Brexit uncertainty".

"Even an exceptionally well-run and much-loved business such as HMV can not withstand the tsunami of challenges facing. retailers over the past 12 months on top of such a dramatic change in consumer behaviour in the entertainment market", McGowan said in the statement. HMV said it sold almost one third of physical music in the United Kingdom in 2018 but expects the market to shrink by 17% in 2019.

The streaming shift has only intensified since Hilco saved HMV six years ago, as Apple Inc.'s music service and Spotify Technology SA continue to dominate the music retail world.

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