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Troubled retailer HMV in rescue hope
THE chief executive of struggling retailer HMV has insisted there is still a place for the music retailer on the high street.
As Deloitte was appointed administrator of the business, which employs 4,500 staff across 239 outlets, Trevor Moore, HMV chief executive, indicated the existing management would like to be part of a rescue plan for the company.
Mr Moore, who until September was chief executive of camera retailer Jessops, which also went into administration last week, said digital sales only accounted for 25 per cent of all entertainment business.
He added the group had viable plans to build a better online platform and capitalise on its unrivalled “knowledge and focus”. He said: “We have a plan in mind and don’t think it is beyond us to deliver it.”
He sparked speculation of management involvement in an attempt to rescue the business, saying: “I am every bit as passionate about HMV as I was when I joined in September. I’d like to be involved in the business going forward if the opportunity presented itself.
The collapse marks the latest in a run of high profile retail collapses following the demise of Jessops and electricals group Comet.
All of HMV’s 239 outlets — including nine Fopp stores — will remain open while a buyer is sought for the business, although it is likely that there will be widespread store closures.
HMV has one store in York, in Coney Street, after it closed a store at Monks Cross in August 2011 among about 60 other stores that year. It also has stores in Harrogate and Scarborough.
In September 2011, the Coney Street store was refurbished as it became one of 150 pilot technology shops. The retailer dedicated a quarter of the space to personal technology, such as iPods and headphones.
Deloitte is expected shortly to be appointed officially as administrators.
The retailer is not accepting vouchers and gift cards, although it had continued selling them until yesterday, but online orders will continue to be fulfilled, it said.
It said its business had been squeezed by internet retailers and supermarkets and it failed to win agreements to supply two key tablet computers over Christmas, which caused it to miss out.
While it did not reveal its festive performance, it said sales declines remained around the 10.2 per cent level seen in the half year to October 26.