So, the music has finally stopped for HMV, after administrators Deloitte today announced that 66 out of a total 220 UK stores would have to be closed. It is not yet known exactly when they will close, but they will continue trading in the meantime.
Nick Edwards, a joint administrator for Deloitte, said: ‘This step has been taken in order to enhance the prospects of securing the business’ future as a going concern. We continue to receive strong support from staff and are extremely grateful to them for their commitment during an understandably difficult period.’
Edwards added that he remains ‘hopeful of securing a future’ for the business as long as a decent restructuring process can be hashed out.
So, just in case you haven’t been paying attention, why has it all come off the rails for HMV? Well, poor Christmas sales finally pushed the retailer, which has been struggling for years, over the edge. Its market share has been eroded for a long time now by e-commerce, with shoppers moving in their droves to buy music from cheaper online retailers.
It is also thought that the chain has suffered from the high street ‘showrooming effect’, where consumers go to the high street shop to check out the product they are interested in, and then head home to find a cheaper deal from an online supplier that does not have the same overheads as its high street counterpart.
Last week, when almost 200 people were laid off at the firm's head office and throughout its distribution network, one employee took to the company Twitter account, saying: 'We're tweeting live from HR where we're all being fired!' The tweets went viral very quickly, and now the woman responsible has been flooded with job offers, presumably for having demonstrated that she knows how to harness the power of social media. Click here for MT's coverage of that story...
Still, it looks like there may be some home of HMV surviving in a smaller form. We’ll keep you posted as the administration process continues…
Here are some selected tweets in response to the news:
@xsashkiex Too true, i feel for the staff but the corporate steam roller that shut down all of the independent record shops didnt care— Sean Parker (@SeanoSays) February 7, 2013
its very sad #HMV and all these big chains are going under.. but it was also v.sad when small businesses folded years ago 2 make way 4 them.— Sacha Allen (@XsashkieX) February 7, 2013