Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

HMV returning to 'spiritual home'

HMV is returning to its 'spiritual home' in Grafton Street, Dublin

HMV is staging a return to Dublin's top shopping thoroughfare Grafton Street.

A year after the well-known retailer collapsed under the weight of high rents and online competition, it is reopening in the former A-Wear premises.

The new store will create 35 jobs.

Larry Howard, chief executive of new owners Hilco Capital Ireland, said Grafton Street was HMV's spiritual home.

"HMV returning to Grafton Street has been a priority for Hilco Capital, and we're delighted to have secured this premises," he said.

"We're looking forward to bringing this iconic brand back to its spiritual home in Ireland."

Since rescuing the troubled retailer, Hilco has relaunched seven HMV stores around the country including at Henry Street, Dundrum Town Centre and Liffey Valley in Dublin.

Other outlets are at the Crescent Shopping Centre in Limerick, the Quays Shopping Centre in Newry and Donegal Arcade in Belfast.

The investment company also took over Xtra-vision and opened 37 dual branded Xtra-vision and HMV stores last year - employing more than 1,000 workers.

A further 11 outlets are to be opened over the next month.

HMV's former flagship store on Grafton Street - across the street from the A-Wear shop - has been taken over by high street clothing chain Massimo Dutti.

An opening date for the new store has yet to be announced.

Dublin City Business Improvement District (BID), an umbrella group of 2,500 businesses in the centre of the capital, said HMV had been sorely missed from the shopping thoroughfare.

Chief executive Richard Guiney said: "Vacancy rates in the city centre are now down to 9% from highs of 15.6% in 2010. These developments are a huge vote of confidence for Dublin city centre."

Before Hilco stepped in, the Irish division of HMV was put into receivership on January 16 last year when the receiver could not find a buyer.

The retailer, which sells DVDs, CDs, computer games, music and audio technology, had been struggling for several years to survive in a vastly changed market with aggressive competition from supermarkets and online companies.

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