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HMV UK sold to Sunrise Records, 27 British stores set to close

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HMV, the UK music retailer, has been brought to life by a Canadian music entrepreneur, but 27 stores in prime locations are closing down, including the site of its first store on London’s Oxford Street.

Doug Putman, who runs the Canadian retailer Sunrise Records, has bought the UK music and film store chain after emerging as the leading contender last weekend, fighting off competition from Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct.

HMV sold 31% of all physical music in the UK in 2018 and 23% of all DVDs, with its market share growing month by month throughout the year. However, the music industry expects physical entertainment sales to shrink by another 17% this year.

Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator said,

“We are pleased to confirm this sale which, after a complex process, secures the continued trading of the majority of the business. Our immediate concern is now to support those employees that have unfortunately been made redundant.”

According to real estate adviser, Altus Group, HMV saw its business rates bill for its flagship store on Oxford Street rise to £1,308,150 this financial year, almost double the amount it was paying before the controversial revaluation came into effect in April 2017.

The store’s rateable value is its estimated annual rent paid on 1st April 2015, and rose by £1.04 mn to £2.55 mn under the 2017 revaluation.

Earlier 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.

 

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Abhishek Singh

Author: Abhishek Singh

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