HMV Closing Flagship Vancouver Store

HMV Closing Flagship Vancouver Store
Another sign of the struggles HMV Canada has been facing for years, the multimedia retailer officially announced this morning (November 3) that it will be closing the doors of its downtown Vancouver location, the largest store in BC, this January.

Speaking with the Vancouver Sun, president Nick Williams admitted that considering the state of the industry, with both album and movie sales dwindling, it just wasn't feasible to maintain the 50,000-square-foot, three-storey building any longer on Vancouver's busy Robson Street.

"It's regretful, really," he said. "The last thing that we want to do is leave Vancouver's downtown ... but a store of that magnitude unfortunately does not fit into our long-term real estate strategy."

Despite the closure of the store, as well as another locale in nearby Richmond, BC, HMV will continue to run nine other shops in the province. The closures do, however, affect over 60 employees, but some of them may get transferred to the other stores.

"Clearly we won't be able to do that for everyone," Williams explained.

The president also explained that the company is looking for a smaller downtown spot to open a shop in, so long as it can afford to open the store in Vancouver's pricey real estate market. The new store would ideally be scaled down to 5,000- to 10,000-square-feet.

"The last thing we are going to do is leave such an important market," he said.

Both Richmond and Vancouver locations will kick off a giant sale this Saturday (November 5) to sell off stock at greatly reduced prices.

"That's our way of saying thanks and goodbye to that store and giving anyone who spent a lot of time in the store and enjoyed it the opportunity to benefit from that," Williams said.

As previously reported, HMV Canada faced a big shake-up earlier this year when Valco Capital Partners, the private equity arm of Hilco, bought all of its existing stores for only a reported $3.15 million.

The company has also suffered worldwide, with stores being shut down in the UK and Japan.