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Historic UK music retailer HMV collapses for second time

HMV Shopping Centre

London, United Kingdom | AFP | British music retailer HMV, which was launched by English composer Edward Elgar in 1921, has collapsed into administration after weak Christmas sales and amid a declining market for CDs and DVDs, its owner said on Friday.

His Master’s Voice (HMV), which is known worldwide for its iconic logo showing a dog listening to a record player, is the last major music retailer in Britain and has been suffering for years from the switch to streaming services.

Hilco Capital, a restructuring company which rescued HMV when it previously entered administration in 2013, said that the company had decided to appoint administrators but its 125 stores in Britain would continue trading for the moment.

The company employs around 2,200 people.

“It is disappointing to see the market, particularly for DVD, deteriorate so rapidly in the last 12 months as consumers switch at an ever increasing pace to digital service,” said Paul McGowan, executive chairman of HMV and Hilco.

“During the key Christmas trading period the market for DVD fell by over 30 percent compared to the previous year,” he said, adding that this decline was “unsustainable”.

“The switch to digital has accelerated dramatically this year, creating a void that we are no longer able to bridge,” McGowan said, adding that the physical music market in Britain is forecast to fall by around 17 percent next year.

“As a result, the directors have concluded that it will not be possible to continue to trade the business,” he added.

Since its last collapse, HMV had hosted a series of live events in store with musicians like pop star Kylie Minogue and grime artist Stormzy in a bid to increase footfall.

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