11 HMV shops at risk of closure in NI
Eleven stores in Northern Ireland are at risk of closure after music retailer HMV called in the administrators.
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
The music chain was established 92 years ago and operates 238 outlets across the UK, employing more than 4,000 people.
Five of the NI stores are based in Belfast.
In a statement the retailer said it was unable to reach a position where it could trade outside of insolvency protection.
"The directors of the company understand that it is the intention of the administrators, once appointed, to continue to trade whilst they seek a purchaser for the business," the statement said.
The announcement comes as the store struggled to make up sales over Christmas.
Chief Executive Trevor Moore said market conditions suggested the group would fail to meet expectations for the year to April, so would not meet the terms of its bank loans.
However he said management "remain convinced that we can find a successful business outcome", adding he was "confident that we will find a solution".
We need to make our town and city centres destinations to attract additional footfall to challenge the growth of online sales.
Glyn Roberts, NIIRTA
The chain are currently not accepting or issuing any more gift vouchers or cards, although online orders will continue to be fulfilled.
Antoinette McKeown, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council, said: "It's at the discretion of the Administrator to allow consumers to redeem any form of gift card or voucher. If a new buyer is found, the new owner may honour the gift vouchers or cards so consumers should hold onto their vouchers or cards.
"If you have HMV goods that you want to exchange or return, you are not legally entitled to a refund or exchange unless the item is faulty. If the item is faulty, your rights under the Sale of Goods Act will apply and HMV must replace the faulty item or provide a refund.
Ms McKeown urged: "Given the current economic climate, the Consumer Council would encourage consumers who have gift vouchers or cards and credit notes for any retailer to use them as soon as possible."
Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said the news was "another big potential loss to the high street".
"This is deeply concerning that another big name high street retailer is likely to close its doors so soon after Jessops ceased trading. Unless a buyer is found, HMV closing will be a big loss to our local town centres and footfall for neighbouring retailers," he said.
"Quite simply we are losing too many retail chains and independent retailers and so we need radically new thinking to revitalise our retail sector."
He added: "NIIRTA continues to engage with Ministers at Stormont and Westminster putting forward solutions to tackle this problem."
Mr Moore previously headed up Jessops. The camera chain went into administration last week, with the loss of 30 jobs in Northern Ireland, in what was another high profile retail collapse in the UK.