HMV Ireland stores to re-open

Retailer recovery specialist Hilco has confirmed that at least 4 HMV stores in Ireland will re-open within 6 weeks following a reported investment of between €3.5m and €4m. Agreements with store landlords have been reached for 4 locations with a further 2 or 3 deals still pending.

Hilco has also acquired Irish movie rental chain Xtra-vision for a reported €8m sum June 2013. Xtra-vision, Ireland-based home entertainment rental and retail specialist, went into receivership in April 2013 citing spiralling debts. The chain, which currently operates 130 stores in Ireland and employs over 800 staff, will now become part of Hilco’s international retail division. However, Hilco reportedly expects to close around 40 Xtra-vision stores as a result of the restructure.

In April 2013 Hilco bought HMV in the UK from administrators Deloitte for around £40m. The company acquired 132 of the 220 original UK-based stores as well as the 9 Fopp branded home entertainment retail stores.

The purchase of HMV’s UK and Ireland chain stores along with Xtra-vision in Ireland secures Hilco’s dominance of the specialist sector in both markets. Whilst the restructuring specialist’s purchases in the UK are unlikely to impact the British video market greatly, the consolidation of the two Irish chains could change the current fortunes of video retail in Ireland. Combining Xtra-vision’s store base with HMV’s UK base buying power and authority among content owners will raise the profile of the Irish video market, too often neglected by exclusively UK based suppliers.

Indeed, by catering for the company’s new Irish store base in-house, Hilco effectively removes decision making about the market from the fragmented supply chain and enables the company to present single, unified market strategy. Furthermore, the purchase of the Xtra-vision store chain fills the hole left by recent UK store closures; increasing the chains purchasing commitments, extending buying power and increasing once more the chain’s significance to UK based suppliers.

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