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More uncertainty for HMV as it enters receivership and stores close nationwide

Is this the end for HMV? As the possibility becomes even more likely, The Daily Shift’s Shannon McNamee hopes not…

The end is possibly nigh for the beloved music store

The end is possibly nigh for the beloved music store

The current situation for the main street music retail chain HMV could not be getting worse, or so it seemed.

Today however we are made aware that the company is now going into receivership in Ireland. The 16 stores in the Republic of Ireland were shut on Wednesday and will be under the control of accounting firm Deloitte, with David Carson, partner of the firm becoming appointed receiver.

The stores have been closed nationwide until further notice, while Carson assesses the situation and fundementally decides the fate of the company, taking into consideration factors such as the viability of the company and its cost structure.

Because of its high credibility and almost century long service, all efforts are being made to save the company and secure a new buyer for the stores.

HMV management this morning attended a meeting with The National Consumer Association (NCA) who stated that “The NCA’s position remains unchanged, that there is no basis for HMV (Ireland) Ltd refusing to honour gift vouchers, as the company is not under the protection of the administration or examinership process, despite what was indicated by the company to Irish consumers on January 15”.

While this is the current situation in Ireland, the company’s UK division remains in administration.

As the future of the firm becomes more and more uncertain, other news today reveals that the charity behind “A Song For Lily Mae” is owed €27,000 from HMV, and producers of the single are unsure whether or not it will be paid.

“A Song For Lily Mae” is a charity single that was recorded by a compilation of Irish artists, such as Paddy Casey, John Spillane and Mundy. The track was created in aid of 4 year old neuroblastoma (cancer) sufferer Lily Mae.

The producer of the single, Stephen Macken discussed in an interview with radio presenter Tom Dunne that invoices totalling in €27,000 were sent to the music retail chain which have not yet been paid. ‘The chances of us being paid right now are pretty close to nil because we are an unsecured local supplier’. Listen to the full interview here.

However, that is not all for the Irish division of HMV in today’s news. Staff are staging lock-ins in two of Limerick’s stores following the announcement that the Irish division of the large music chain has gone into receivership.

@hmvcrescent tweets: “@patricko_byrne we’re in a lock in. Spread the word!”

“We’re losing our jobs! We’re not getting paid! PLEASE RT! #hmv #HMVstaff #hmvireland”

and attempted to gain some recognition by tweeting to TV3′s Vincent Browne with “@vincentbrowne we’ve lost are jobs and we’re not getting paid! Please help! RT #HMV”

With over 300 jobs in Ireland under threat, and thousands of angry customers who cannot avail of gift vouchers that were bought before Christmas, things in the HMV towers are not appearing so good.

But was this inevitable? With the vast majority of people opting for the more green, or perhaps just more convenient form of buying music, and that is online, (legally or illegally) music sales in retail stores such as HMV and other chains have been plumetting.

And with the rapid expansion of music streaming sites such as Deezer and Spotify, is there really a need for large chains selling physical CDs and DVDs?

Perhaps it can be seen as somewhat nostalgiac, almost an antiquity that needs to be revived purely for novelty reasons, as digital music is so much more convenient and easier on the environment! And with the price of the average CD costing anything up to €20, downloading music digitally is dominating the sale of music worldwide.

Does anyone remember Zavvi? The music chain that went bust and was bought by HMV in January of 2009?

This process of elimination has been happening for the past few years since downloading music was introduced and became popular among the masses with the widespread use of iTunes.

The American-based provider of music and video, Blockbuster, which has stores in the UK has just announced that its British division has also collapsed into administration now leaving an extra 4,190 jobs at risk.

Will the sale of music in a mass high street chain collapse completely and be succeeded by the downloading of digital music?

How are these recent circumstances going to affect up and coming Irish acts or charity singles, like “A Song For Lily Mae” that rely on HMV for sponorship and promotion to get a name in the music industry?

Although the internet is an overwhelmingly uselful means of projection, bands and record labels still need the support from music chains like HMV. Will this be the end of a much loved and highly appreciated chain that has been supplying the masses with music merchandise for almost 100 years? Is it time to say goodbye to Nipper, the iconic image of HMV forever? We hope not!

*Lead image via guardian.co.uk
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About Shannon McNamee

Just another wannabe writer. Currently studying Irish Studies in NUI Galway, I'm 20 years old and I'm the online entertainment editor of the college paper. I love to write about music and entertainment, and aim to someday become a professional journalist.

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