SUNDERLAND’S HMV store is safe, after the entertainment chain was snapped up by restructuring expert Hilco.
Hilco has bought the business from administrators Deloitte, saving includes 141 stores and about 2,500 jobs. Branches in Sunderland, Newcastle and Gateshead are included in the deal. HMV in Durham has already closed.
Hilco boss Paul McGowan said: “We have spent a number of weeks negotiating revised terms with landlords and key suppliers to the business, all of whom have been supportive of our plans to maintain an entertainment retailer on the High Street.
“We hope to replicate some of the success we have had in the Canadian market with the HMV Canada business, which we acquired almost two years ago and which is now trading strongly.
“The structural differences in the markets and the higher level of competition in the UK will prove additional challenges for the UK business but we believe it has a successful future ahead of it.”
HMV will initially be led by a Hilco team working alongside existing management. Ian Topping, who will lead the Hilcon team, said the aim was to take the chain back to its roots.
“We intend to reverse the earlier decisions to sell tablets and other devices in the stores and to reclaim the space for an enhanced music and visual range,” he said.
“The reaction of the British public to the administration of HMV shows a strong desire for the business to continue to trade and we hope to play a constructive part in delivering that.”
Hilco has also confirmed that it is in negotiations with a number of landlords with a view to re-establishing an HMV business in the Republic of Ireland after Receivers there closed the business shortly after their appointment.
Deloitte’s Nick Edwards said: “We are delighted to have completed the sale of HMV’s UK retail business to Hilco UK. The sale secures the employment of 2,643 staff, saves one of the world’s most iconic retail brands and provides a solid financial footing on which the business can be taken forward.
“I would like to thank all those that have worked with us, in particular the staff, suppliers and landlords for their support.”