Administrators to HMV to close first 66 stores

Kasmira Jefford
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HMV, the high street’s last major music retailer, is to close a third of its stores and cut 930 jobs across the country, administrators confirmed yesterday.

Deloitte said the closure of 66 lossmaking stores, including four in London, will take place over the next two months in a move that will leave the embattled retailer with a footprint of 154 outlets.

Last week the administrators made 190 of HMV’s 4,000 staff redundant at the company’s head office and distribution sites.

The news comes as one of the UK’s biggest retail landlords today warned that the number of shops will fall by almost a third in some town locations across the UK over the next decade.

The report by retail specialist Columino and commissioned by Hammerson forecasts that total store numbers across the country will decline 10.3 per cent between 2010 and 2020 and by 31 per cent in in-town locations.

The owner of Brent Cross shopping centre in north London and the Bullring in Birmingham said as store numbers decline, retailers will focus their expansion on major cities with higher footfall.

Hammerson chief executive David Atkins said stores will still play a key role but with consumers using at least three channels such as their tablet or laptop to shop.

Mobile devices will account for over a quarter of retail sales by 2020 - with sales of around £54bn, the new report predicts.

The report forecasts that total retail spend including inflation will rise by 26 per cent to £377bn by 2022 on current levels as household budgets improve, with consumers aged over 55 expected to contributing the lion’s share of growth.