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HMV needs to know its own strength

Rescued HMV store in Newcastle (5 Apr 2013). Photograph by Graham Soult

Rescued HMV store in Newcastle (5 Apr 2013)

Following Graham’s recent article about HMV’s buyout by restructuring specialists Hilco, it is worth taking a look at what lies ahead for this British institution. While the closure of getting on for half the UK stores suggests otherwise, HMV does … Continue Reading

Hilco has rescued HMV, but now the hard work really starts

1951 advert for HMV, featuring the iconic Nipper image. Photograph by Graham Soult

1951 advert for HMV, featuring the iconic Nipper image

It’s been nearly three months coming, but now the news that everyone wanted to hear has been confirmed: the iconic entertainment retailer HMV, which collapsed in January, has been … Continue Reading

Four North East stores to go in first wave of HMV closures

HMV, South Shields (18 Jun 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

HMV, South Shields (18 Jun 2010)

As you may well have seen last week, four North East locations are among the 66 loss-making HMV stores that will close within the next couple of months, following an announcement by the firm’s … Continue Reading

Nipper on the brink: is there a future for HMV, and do we care?

Nipper logo at HMV in Coventry (7 Feb 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Nipper logo at HMV in Coventry (7 Feb 2012)

If reports tonight are to be believed, it looks like the 92-year-old entertainment retailer HMV could collapse into administration tomorrow (Tuesday 15 January), putting around 235 stores and 4,350 employees at risk. [UPDATE, 15 January: This has now been confirmed.]

No-one can say … Continue Reading

As HMV struggles, just how important is the pre-Christmas trading period for retailers?

Like Santa in Keswick, does HMV have a mountain to climb? (27 Nov 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Like Santa in Keswick, does HMV have a mountain to climb? (27 Nov 2011)

Eighteen months on from securing a £220m refinancing ‘lifeline’, HMV’s warning today that it is … Continue Reading

Twenty-one North East stores close immediately as Game collapses

Game in Sunderland's High Street West - now closed (13 Mar 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Game in Sunderland's High Street West - now closed (13 Mar 2012)

Twenty-one Game and Gamestation shops in the North East are among the 277 stores that have closed immediately following Game Group’s collapse into administration this morning.

While the administrator, PwC, … Continue Reading

What does 2012 hold for Newcastle city centre?

La Senza closing down in Newcastle (2 Jan 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

La Senza closing down in Newcastle (2 Jan 2012)

Since this is my first post of 2012, I must begin by wishing all Soult’s Retail View readers a very Happy New Year! Thank you to everyone who has commented, emailed, tweeted or visited during 2011, and I hope you will find many more posts to spark your interest during 2012.

As we enter 2012, the retail picture … Continue Reading

Habitat, HomeForm, TJ Hughes: why is it H-H-Hell on the high street?

Habitat, Bristol (22 Feb 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Habitat, Bristol (22 Feb 2011)

It’s hard to dispute that the last couple of weeks has been a torrid time for the UK high street, with a succession of well-known names either announcing bad news or collapsing into administration.

While HMV has a stay of execution for now, other retailers in that section of the alphabet – Habitat, … Continue Reading

Radical Dalziel & Pow design for four-level Newcastle BHS

How the new BHS will look. Image by Dalziel & Pow

How the new BHS will look. Image by Dalziel & Pow

Plans for Northumberland Street’s new BHS store have been submitted to Newcastle City Council, and propose a more radical than expected transformation of the … Continue Reading

Tracking down Oxford Street’s second ex-Woolworths

Former Woolworths (now HMV), 150 Oxford Street (6 Apr 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths (now HMV), 150 Oxford Street (6 Apr 2011)

While in London last week, High Holborn (store #173) and Tottenham Court Road (#175) weren’t the only two ex-Woolworths I managed to work into my travels.

Back in November, you might recall that I … Continue Reading

HobbyCraft shines, Borders stumbles

Borders at Retail World, Gateshead. Photograph courtesy of Land Securities

Borders at Retail World, Gateshead. Photograph courtesy of Land Securities

Mixed fortunes in the news today for two specialist retailers that both have a presence at Team Valley Retail World in Gateshead – HobbyCraft and Borders.

Privately-owned HobbyCraft, which describes itself as “the UK’s largest chain of dedicated arts and crafts superstores”, has reported a … Continue Reading

Some observations from visiting MetroCentre today

MetroCentre logo on empty unit

MetroCentre logo on empty unit

I popped over to MetroCentre this afternoon, and spotted a few things that seemed worthy of blogging about.

Millets: Following on from my post last week about Blacks Leisure announcing plans to shut 89 loss-making branches, I noticed that the MetroCentre Millets store is already having a closing down sale. However, the nearby Blacks store looks like … Continue Reading