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HMV falls into administration
UPDATE 14.27pm - Bosses at stricken retail chain HMV today said they were "convinced" they can secure a future for the business despite collapsing into administration after poor Christmas sales.
Trevor Moore, chief executive of HMV, insisted there was a place for HMV on the high street and said he was "confident that we will find a solution".
The group confirmed it had been a torrid Christmas for the retailer, saying sales had been disappointing after the failure to secure the supply of two key tablet computers saw it miss out on surging demand for the gadgets.
While it did not reveal its festive performance, HMV said sales declines remained around the 10.2% level seen in the half year to October 26.
UPDATE 11.54am - People with gift cards and vouchers are being advised not to throw them away just yet.
If vouchers are refused by HMV, Which? advises people to make a claim in writing to the administrators, Deloitte, with proof of your vouchers.
But there's no guarantee you'll get all of your money back, and it could take up to 12 months to process the claim properly. And, not all administrators will take this approach.
Which? also advises that administrators may still decide to accept vouchers again in the next few days, so it may be worth holding off to see if this happens.
If this doesn't happen, people who bought HMV vouchers by card should be able to put in a chargeback request to their bank on the grounds that the vouchers are fundamentally different to what you paid for.
If the vouchers were given as a gift it is trickier to make the argument but the person who bought the vouchers could put in a chargeback request to the bank.
But there is no guarantee that the administrators will accept these claims.
AILING music chain HMV has lost its battle for survival in a devastating blow for the British high street and more than 4,000 staff.
The appointment of Deloitte as administrator to the 92-year-old business comes after the failures of Jessops and Comet caused the closure of 422 stores and loss of more than 8,000 jobs.
HMV's 238 outlets, including a store in Worcester's High Street, will remain open while Deloitte attempts to find a buyer for some or all of the business, although it is likely that there will be widespread store closures as a result of the collapse.
The company's administration also means that vouchers and gift cards, many of which were given as Christmas presents, will be worthless.
Squeezed by internet retailers and supermarkets, whose scale has enabled them to offer CDs and DVDs at cheaper prices, HMV's boss Trevor Moore warned before Christmas that the entertainment group was in trouble.
Mr Moore said the group would fail to meet expectations for the year to April and that it would breach the terms of its loan agreements later this month.
Suppliers including Universal Music came to HMV's rescue in January 2011 with a deal which helped the retailer shed some of its huge debt pile.
But Neil Saunders, managing director of retail consultancy Conlumino, said the collapse of HMV was inevitable.
He added: "While many failures of recent times have been, at least in part, driven by the economy, HMV's demise is a structural failure.
"In the digital era where 73.4 per cent of music and film are downloaded or bought online, HMV's business model has simply become increasingly irrelevant and unsustainable."
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