Deathwatch - HMV hatch rescue plan, Comet in trouble too?
Despite their ongoing situation with regards to banks and debt and money in general, HMV management are insistent the company is not in financial trouble. That said, you don't usually see a company coming up with radical plans to pay back debts when they don't have to.
The HMV group has issued four profit warnings since September last year, and recently warned it may soon breach the conditions of its banking facilities. According to the Financial Times, HMV has been talking to lenders for the past three months and is preparing a plan to settle some of its debt; a plan that may include the selling of its Waterstones chain of bookstores for up to £75 million.
It's also thought that HMV will slowly move into selling home electricals to offset plummeting entertainment sales. The FT points out a pilot HMV store in London that has given over a quarter of its floorspace to selling tech, including tablet computers, MP3 players and headphones.
But is tech retail anymore secure than entertainment? Last week, the Bennetts chain of superstores, which employed 300 people, went into administration. Meanwhile, an unconfirmed source has told Bitterwallet that everything may not be too rosy at Comet. The source alleges that the retailer has laid off 400 staff recently, and that Comet recently attempted to buy a supply of Samsung televisions for an Easter promotion but couldn’t afford to pay up front, and it was Dixons that eventually took the deal.
Now we haven't heard anything from other readers to confirm that redundancies have taken place, so there's every chance everything's fine and dandy at Comet. Their press office are yet to respond to our request for a statement, however, so if you can confirm or deny our source's allegations please let us know.