The future of the troubled HMV retail chain will be decided this week, with companies hoping to buy the long-established music retailer, which employs 2,200 people, set a deadline of Tuesday to submit bids.
HMV became one of the first casualties of the worst Christmas for 10 years on the UK high street late last month, when it called in administrators from accountancy firm KPMG to help it either find a buyer or wind up the company.
HMV – which accounts for nearly a third of all physical music sales in Britain as well as nearly a quarter of DVD sales – said retailers across the country had faced “a tsunami of challenges”, with “extremely weak” festive trading. Its 125 UK stores remain open while talks with suppliers and potential buyers continue. Several expressions of interest have already been made, according to Sky News.
The 97-year-old retailer, which also owns the nine-store Fopp music chain, was last rescued by Hilco, an investment firm that specialises in struggling companies, in 2013.
HMV’s troubles mirror the challenges facing entertainment retailers from consumers increasingly shopping online and switching to streaming services. At the same time, costs have risen for bricks-and-mortar stores.
A KPMG spokeswoman declined to comment.