FEARS FOR JOBS AS HMV ON BRINK OF COL­LAPSE

Evening Express (City Final) - - Front Page -

JOBS at an Aberdeen en­ter­tain­ment store could be at risk after firm HMV an­nounced it is on the brink of ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The group em­ploys 2,200 staff across 125 branches and has filed a no­tice of in­ten­tion to ap­point ad­min­is­tra­tors amid a cash cri­sis at the firm. Em­ploy­ees at the Aberdeen store, based in the Trin­ity Cen­tre, could also be at risk of los­ing their jobs. The stores will con­tinue to trade while ne­go­ti­a­tions are on­go­ing. If HMV was to go bust, it would be the sec­ond time it has col­lapsed in re­cent years, hav­ing filed for ad­min­is­tra­tion in 2013, after which it was ac­quired by its cur­rent owner, Hilco. KPMG is un­der­stood to be wait­ing in the wings to un­der­take the process. Paul McGowan, ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of HMV and its owner Hilco Cap­i­tal, said: “Dur­ing the key Christ­mas trad­ing pe­riod the mar­ket for DVD fell by over 30% com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year and, while HMV per­formed con­sid­er­ably bet­ter than that, such a de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in a key sec­tor of the mar­ket is un­sus­tain­able. “HMV has clearly not been in­su­lated from the gen­eral malaise of the UK High Street and has suf­fered the same chal­lenges with Busi­ness Rates and other gov­ern­ment-cen­tric poli­cies which have led to in­creased fixed costs in the busi­ness. “Busi­ness Rates alone rep­re­sent an an­nual cost to HMV in ex­cess of £15m. “Even an ex­cep­tion­ally well-run and much-loved busi­ness such as HMV can­not with­stand the tsunami of chal­lenges fac­ing UK re­tail­ers over the last 12 months on top of such a dra­matic change in con­sumer be­hav­iour in the en­ter­tain­ment mar­ket.”

2,200 jobs at HMV are at risk

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