Uncertainty over future of Lisburn HMV

THE future of the Lisburn branch of HMV is unsure following the firms’ announcement that it is calling in administrators, putting over 4000 jobs at risk.

The news makes HMV the latest in a succession of shops to fall into trouble following a difficult trading period for Northern Ireland’s retailers and the challenge from online stores.

Belinda Whyte, President of Lisburn Chamber of Commerce said: “It’s disappointing to see yet another retail chain go into administration, however hopefully a buyer can be identified and this local site saved. This situation reflects the challenges faced by all retailers, however we have to encourage consumers to continue to shop locally and support local retailers and ensure that our city centre is an attractive shopping destination.”

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Dan Wagner, CEO and Chairman of mPowa and Powa Technologies, which is responsible for implementing online and mobile retail platforms for some of the leading high street names, said, “Although HMV has introduced various promotions to drive sales, the shift in the way consumers are buying goods has had far-reaching implications. Internet shopping is now more popular in the UK than any other country in the world, with UK spending an average of £1,083 a year on shopping online. While this is good news for British ecommerce businesses, those that didn’t have a digitally focused strategy from the outset are now playing catch-up and the consequences are clear to see.

“Although HMV responded to its changing customer demands by moving towards a technology focused strategy with the sale of headphones and tablets, it appears by today’s announcement that this strategy has not been able to compensate for the fall in CD and DVD revenue. Competition from iTunes and Amazon seems to have contributed to the fall in sales for HMV.”

Dan Concluded, “Many retailers in Northern Ireland could succumb to a similar fate because of the cumulative effect of poor sales throughout the year. Retailers have to stay ahead of the game and have an effective online and offline strategy in place if they are to survive in this new technology-focused era.”