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article imageSupermarket giants Asda reportedly interested in buying HMV

By Edward Robinson     Mar 13, 2013 in Entertainment
Asda are reportedly interested to acquire failed music chain HMV as the first UK stores prepare to close, following the retailer's fall into administration in January. Around 1,500 staff have lost their jobs with a further 1,500 still in the balance.
However it is understood that Asda (owned by Walmart) have held talks with administrators Deloitte about saving a number of the 103 stores across the country that are set for closure in the coming weeks. HMV currently have debts of £170m, after suffering poor Christmas sales and years of decline.
The surprise news comes just months after UK based magazine 'retail week' revealed that Asda are eyeing a digital acquisition to catch up with rivals Tesco and Sainsbury's and the merger would certainly put the horses amongst the Pigeons, (pardon the pun) as Asda currently have little presence in the convenient store market dominated by Tesco and Sainsbury's. However, Asda may be looking at any potential deals as an opportunity to expand.
Following the collapse of 'Game' last year Asda profited from a burst of sales, prompted by big releases and midnight launches. Asda held a 10.4% share of the video, games and music and digital music market in the 12 weeks to December 2012/ (Kantar Worldpanel data released in January showed) Asda has the fourth largest share behind rival Tesco at 12.2%, HMV at 17.5% and Amazon at 23.4% so HMV's share is up for grabs.
In February Supermarket chain Morrison's purchased six stores from HMV to be converted into branches of their 'M' convenience stores.
Last month HMV administratiors announced that an additional 37 stores will close, resulting in 464 job losses, including all four Heathrow airport sites. Furthermore the retailer has been forced to shut all of its Irish branches at the loss of over 300 jobs.
It has been reported that at the time of its collapse, HMV owed £20m in tax. Asda and Deloitte have so far declined to comment.
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