141 Stores To Remain Open
After a truly torturous few months, HMV will avoid total liquidation thanks to a completed rescue bid from Hilco. For a cool £50 million, the restructuring giant will assume control of 141 stores. More details below.
Having taken custody of HMV's debt earlier this year (thus buying the struggling retailer extra time and cementing their buyout position), Hilco's new deal saves approximately 2,500 jobs, and rescues 25 stores already slated for closure.
"We have spent a number of weeks negotiating revised terms with landlords and the key suppliers to the business, all of whom have been supportive of our plans to maintain an entertainment retailer on the High Street," announced Hilco CEO Paul McGowan. "We hope to replicate some of the success we have had in the Canadian market with the HMV Canada business which we acquired almost two years ago and which is now trading strongly."
"The structural differences in the markets and the higher level of competition in the UK will prove additional challenges for the UK business but we believe it has a successful future ahead of it."
Hilco exec Ian Topping will join HMV's management team to oversee their operations going forward, and plans to reverse some of the unprofitable decisions such as stocking tablets and enormous videogame ranges. "This is an exciting investment for the Hilco team," Topping explained, "and we will be able to use some of the developments already progressed in Canada to restore HMV to health. We intend to reverse the earlier decisions to sell tablets and other devices in the stores and to reclaim the space for an enhanced music and visual range."
"The reaction of the British public to the administration of HMV shows a strong desire for the business to continue to trade and we hope to play a constructive part in delivering that."
Despite numerous stores closing since the start of the year (several in key high street locations that charged an insane level rent), we're glad to see some semblance of normality returning to HMV.