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HMV to expand into the Middle East and beyond

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HMV is to make a mark outside the UK, reaching first for the Middle East where it has shaken on a deal to open 15 stores. According to The Telegraph the entertainment specialist is also in talks to expand into Australia, China and India.

The music, film and video games fell into administration in 2013 but has been revived by Hilco Capital, which acquired the majority of stores. Since then Hilco’s Chief Exec Paul McGowan has had several offers from parties interested in taking the business overseas.

“We have been approached by so many people,” said McGowan.

Hilco will take HMV to the Middle East with Qatar’s Al Mana Lifestyle Trading through a licensing agreement. It will open HMV stores in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, and will look to source partners that can take the brand to Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco.

It is understood that McGowan is also in talks with companies about licensing agreements in other parts of the world.

HMV currently has stores in Canada, which Hilco controlled before it took over the UK stores, and Ireland, where it will open concessions in 100 Tesco stores. As well as expanding its global footprint, the high street retailer will open an additional five shops in the UK this year and recently launched a transactional website.

McGowan referred to the HMV brand as “completely dead” before Hilco took over, adding that: “We are happy with where we are at this point in time. We are consolidating market share in all the markets we are in. It makes sense to look overseas.”

The HMV boss also said that that physical sales are “holding their own and even fighting back” despite the launch of streaming services such as Apple Music, and that download and streaming services were “eating each other”.

Published on Monday 13 July by Veebs Sabharwal

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