Thursday 24 January 2013, 12:22 | By Chris Cooke
Supermarkets interested in HMV stores not included in Hilco’s rescue plan
The supermarket chains are considering bidding for some of HMV’s shops as part of plans to further expand their city centre convenience store chains. And I’m sure we all agree that if there’s one thing we all need, it’s more supermarkets. Let’s just hope they don’t forget to turn some HMV units into coffee shops; Lord knows we need more of them.
According to The Guardian, Morrisons has expressed an interest in up to 20 sites currently occupied by the flagging entertainment retailer, which it would turn into M Local stores. Tesco and Sainsbury’s might also bid, though they are so far staying tight-lipped on the matter.
As previously reported, administrators Deloitte, called in by HMV management last week, are currently in talks with various parties interested in various parts of the HMV business. Restructuring firm Hilco, which now controls much of the entertainment retail company’s debts, is expected to acquire the HMV brand and, word has it, up to half of the firm’s 230 store network.
Meanwhile, property firms CBRE and Savills have been brought in to find buyers for those shops that will not be part of a streamlined HMV. In addition to the supermarkets, New Look, JD Sports, J Crew and Game have all expressed an interest in acquiring some of HMV’s store units.
In related news, reports suggest Hilco is looking to buy the Jessops brand from the administrators dealing with that other recent UK retail collapse, perhaps with a view to operating Jessops camera concessions in HMV stores. Hey, perhaps they could rebrand HMVs DVD department Blockbuster and the gadgets area Comet, making your local HMV store the place where doomed retail brands go to die.