HMV bought by Canadian Music Entrepreneur
100 Stores to be saved in UK
After falling into administration at the end of last year, a buyer has finally come forward to offer some hope to HMV staff and customers.Sunrise Records owner, Canadian entrepreneur, Doug Putman, has stepped in to buy the troubled UK music retailer, HMV. The deal will see 100 outlets remain open, protecting nearly 1,500 jobs. However, 27 other stores will face closure, affecting 455 staff. Additionally, up to 122 warehouse jobs will be lost in the coming weeks.
Details of the settlement have not been released but it is understood that other buyers, including Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley, were interested. Administrators KPMG will inform staff if their store will be affected by the closures before the information is made available more widely.
UPDATE: 17:36 05-Feb 2019
The list of stores that will close has been announced (see bbc.co.uk for full) list) and HMV’s flagship Oxford Street store is among them. Also due to close are outlets in high profile shopping centres such as Sheffield’s Meadow Retail Park and Manchester’s Trafford Centre.
In a statement, Mr Putman, 34, said, "We are delighted to acquire the most iconic music and entertainment business in the UK.”
And in an interview with Radio 4’s Today Programme, he went on to say that HMV was a "fantastic, heritage brand," and that, “We believe it’s a chain that’s going to be around ... So I think this is a very long road ahead.”
HMV has faced the challenges of the High Street, such as high business rates and competition from streaming sites such as Netflix and Spotify, and ultimately fell into administration for the second time in six years in December 2018.
Doug Putman has a track record in turning around music store fortunes, having already bought Canada’s Sunrise Records in 2014 and going on to take over HMV’s Canadian locations after it went into administration. These stores were re-branded but Putman has reassured UK customers that stores here will continue under the HMV name.
When asked about plans he said the chain would be looking to stock more vinyl records, in response to customer demand.
"It is very clear that the customer wants more selection on vinyl, more depth of catalogue." He added, "There is so much you get from coming into a store that you can't get online."
He has also gone on record as saying that his aim is to tap into local tastes in music and promote store autonomy.
Certainly good news for store employees and loyal HMV customers but can the new owner prevent a third strike? Let us know what you think.
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.