Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

HMV closing up to 100 shops as part of restructuring plans

HMV's administrators are reportedly planning to shut up to 100 of the music chain's shops as part of plans to restructure the business.

Deloitte is set to announce the closure of between 60 and 100 shops this week, which could see 1,500 jobs axed, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

But under the plans, which would leave HMV with between 120 and 160 shops, the doors would not be closed until the stores have run out of stock.

HMV went into administration last month, putting more than 4,120 jobs and 223 stores at risk, but hopes of a rescue deal have been raised after restructuring firm Hilco bought the company's debt. It is thought that Hilco was planning to begin negotiations with suppliers and HMV's landlords last week as part of a plan to salvage the group.

Hilco reportedly wants to rescue about half of the stores in the UK as it looks to repeat the strategy that has seen it turn around HMV's Canadian arm, which it bought in 2011. Deloitte, which refused to comment, has already cut 60 jobs at HMV and last week staff used the company's official Twitter account to announce their own "mass execution" as administrators axed nearly 190 jobs.

The closures come amid the collapses of camera chain Jessops and DVD and game rental business Blockbuster last month. Administrators closed all of Jessops' 187 stores after it collapsed, but it emerged today that supermarket giant Morrisons has acquired seven leasehold properties across England and Scotland which it plans to turn into convenience stores.

On Friday, Jessops was snapped up by a group of buyers that includes Dragon's Den star Peter Jones.

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