And Manchester’s Market Street store also faces closure along with Wigan’s branch
On the 07 February 2013, it was confirmed that 66 HMV stores would be closed by the end of March this year. Today, another 37 stores have joined the list. Over half of Greater Manchester’s nine stores will close with a loss of over 85 jobs. The affected stores are in Ashton-under-Lyne, Bolton, Rochdale, Stockport, Wigan and Manchester.
The six stores were deemed as loss makers by administrators Deloitte and Touche, and HMV record shops’ current owners Hilco. Ashton-under-Lyne’s, Rochdale’s and Wigan’s stores were recent additions, with Wigan’s the youngest of the three. Stockport’s is one of Greater Manchester’s older HMV branches, and takes up two floors in the Merseyway Centre.
Manchester’s is the massive three floor store on 90 Market Street which opened in 1991 as the city centre’s flagship store. They have previously had further branches on Market Street (nearest Cross Street and the Royal Exchange), two in Manchester Arndale (one replacing the defunct Virgin Megastore and a pop-up unit opposite the former Virgin Megastore/Zavvi branch), and on Manchester Piccadilly railway station’s main concourse. At present, there is no indication as to whether the Fopp store on Brown Street will stay open.
Ashton-under-Lyne’s store was opened by Blue’s Simon Webbe, taking over the former Dixons unit in the Arcades Shopping Centre. For Ashton-under-Lyne’s town centre, this has come as a blow following Marks and Spencer’s recent move to Ashton Moss. For Stockport, already top of the UK’s empty shops league, this has come as most unwelcome news.
With Bolton’s, Stockport’s, Rochdale’s and Ashton’s HMV branches closing, its shoppers face a trip to Bury or Trafford Centre. At this moment, the following branches in Greater Manchester will remain open:
- Trafford Centre: 136 Peel Avenue, Dumplington;
- Bolton: 3 – 5 Exchange Street;
- Horwich: Unit 4a, 6 The Linkway;
- Bury: 17 – 19 Haymarket.
It has been reported that Morrisons have shown an interest in some former HMV units throughout the UK. Some of the units, it is claimed, are suitable for Morrisons’ ‘M Local’ format. I doubt as if they would take the Market Street store being as they’ve committed themselves to a ground floor unit in the former Nobles Amusement Arcade. Likewise with Ashton’s branch, possibly too small, or they might be considering the vacated Marks and Spencer unit.
In the last five years, we could safely say that HMV priced themselves out of the market. Superstore chains hit HMV at populist level whereas Amazon jolted HMV’s specialist leanings. Furthermore, the trend towards downloads and their late entry into that sector led them to facing administration.
We wish the 85 or so staff in Greater Manchester, and staff at the other 95 stores affected the best of luck in finding suitable employment. Sadly, their redundancies couldn’t have come at a worse time for them.
S.V., 07 February 2013 (edited on the 20 February 2013).