Wednesday 13 February 2013, 12:31 | By Chris Cooke
HMV confirms Irish stores to stay closed
HMV has confirmed that it will not re-open its stores in the Republic Of Ireland, resulting in the loss of about 300 jobs.
As previously reported, when the HMV Group went into administration in the UK last month, the receivers were called in to the company’s Irish subsidiary, a more extreme option which usually means the firm will either be sold or shut down, rather than having the bean counters figure out if a downsizing and restructuring can rescue the business. It also meant the company’s sixteen Irish stores all shut with immediate effect.
No buyer has been found for the loss-making Irish retail business, and a rep for the HMV Group’s administrators told reporters yesterday: “Since his appointment, the receiver has conducted an assessment of the viability of the company and has actively sought a sale. The marketplace is very difficult given competition from web-based retailers and digital downloads, compounded by a number of other factors including high levels of rent. All stores were loss-making and it was not possible to attract a purchaser”.
With nine of the ten HMV stores in Northern Ireland on the list published last week of those shops to be closed within the entertainment retailer’s UK business, that means there will now only be one HMV store on the whole island of Ireland, in Belfast city centre.
As also previously reported, when HMV first shut its Irish stores, staff at its two shops in Limerick staged a sit-in until they got reassurances that wages then owed would be paid. The protest ended when administrators finally made such a commitment.