HMV staff’s wait for closure news

Blackpool's HMV shop is under threat as the company has gone under administration.
Blackpool's HMV shop is under threat as the company has gone under administration.
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STAFF at a major Blackpool music retailer are anxiously waiting to hear whether their store is to close.

HMV, on Bank Hey Street, could be one of a number of shops earmarked for closure after the company went into administration.

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

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 – the group behind HMV Canada – 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 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.

Workers tweeted live about redundancies being made across HMV’s offices and distribution centres.

While speculation continues over which shops could close, around 200 jobs were secured after HMV’s administrators offloaded the retail group’s last remaining music and entertainment venues.

HMV’s majority shareholding in G-A-Y Group, which comprises a number of bars and nightclubs, has been sold to the founder and other shareholder in the business, Jeremy Joseph.

He said: “I am delighted to have acquired 100 per cent ownership of the business that I founded 20 years ago and to have secured the future of my 200 employees.”

The store closures come amid the high profile collapses of camera chain Jessops and DVD and game rental business Blockbuster last month.

On Friday, the Jessops brand was snapped up by a group of buyers, that includes Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones, as an on-line enterprise.

Blackpool councillor Paul Galley recently called for more independent shops to fill the void which could be left by major high street chains closing branches in the town centre.

A spokesman for HMV Blackpool told The Gazette he was unable to comment on the present situation.

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