Town’s HMV store is saved from closure

HMV in Priory Meadow
HMV in Priory Meadow

HASTINGS’ HMV store has been saved from closure, securing 10 jobs.

The shop in Priory Meadow is one of 141 branches of the company that were saved in a buy-out.

The news comes as welcome relief following several shop closures in town earlier this year.

Blockbuster Video in Queens Road went bust in January and five people working at Jessops in Priory Meadow lost their jobs when the camera retailer closed down.

HMV went into administration in January, putting more than 4,100 jobs at risk. The firm blamed internet sales, the recession and illegal downloading of films.

Nick Edwards, Rob Harding and Neville Kahn, restructuring partners at Deloitte, the business advisory firm, were appointed as joint administrators to the music and DVD retailer.

On Friday they confirmed the sale of HMV’s UK retail business to restructuring specialists Hilco UK.

Under the sale, 141 stores and the group’s head office and distribution functions are transferred into the new ownership, securing 2,643 jobs in total.

Mr Edwards said: “We are delighted to have completed the sale of HMV’s UK retail business to Hilco UK.

“The sale of the restructured portfolio 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.

“We wish the Hilco UK and HMV teams every success with the business. I would like to thank all those stakeholders that have worked with us during the administration, but in particular the staff, suppliers and landlords for their support in making this deal possible.”

John Hough, manager of Priory Meadow Shopping Centre, said it was good news the Hastings branch had been saved.

He added: “The vast majority of retailers, when they have gone into administration, are usually brought out of it. HMV in Priory Meadow is an important unit for our retail mix and for the high street in general.”

Other HMV stores in Sussex included in the sale are outlets in neighbouring Eastbourne, as well as Brighton.

The firm operated 222 stores in total across the UK, of which 81 have now closed.