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Saturday 08th of January 2011
January 5, 2011    

HMV to close 60 stores over the next 12 months

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by Kay Murchie

Music, books, DVDs and games retailer, HMV, has today said it is planning to close 60 stores over the next year.

The announcement came after it revealed sales were hit by the recent heavy snowfall. The chain also continues to struggle amid tough competition from supermarkets and internet companies, such as Amazon.

Shares in the retailer, which also owns Waterstone’s bookshops, have plunged by almost a quarter after it also revealed it is struggling to meet the terms of its lending agreements.

Like-for-like sales for the five weeks to 1 January were down 10.2% compared with last year.

The company said: “The board now expects that compliance with the April covenant test under the group’s bank facility will be tight and is taking further mitigating actions during the next four months to address this.”

In other news today, the heavy snowfall which gripped most of the country last month resulted in a fall in sales at Next – Britain’s second largest fashion retailer.

The company today announced sales for the five months to Christmas Eve – at shops open at least a year – were down 6.1%.

However, online sales were up 8.7% as shoppers opted to stay at home.

The clothes retailer estimates it lost £22 million in Christmas sales, however, it highlighted that profits remain on track.

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