// HMV warns UK government must fix business rates or face more store closures
// The music and film retailer plans to open 10 more stores this year
// Doug Putman bought 100 HMV stores out of administration in 2019
HMV owner Doug Putman has warned that the UK government must fix business rates or risk further store closures.
The music and film retailer plans to open 10 more stores this year as it takes on its biggest rival Amazon.
Putman has called on the UK government to fix business rates or risk “a lot more vacancies” on the high street.
HMV, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this month, said online sales had more than doubled over the past year, with sales tripling in some weeks.
However, overall sales for the group were “heavily down” as stores had been forced to temporarily close during the Covid-related high street lockdowns.
Putman bought 100 HMV stores out of administration in 2019.
He said HMV, which has 107 stores, was keen to return to putting on events in an effort to regain footfall.
Putman added that the government needed to urgently fix business rates, which are based on property rents but take years to adjust to reflect the actual levels paid.
This has resulted in many retailers and other high street outlets continuing to pay high business rates despite rents in most places falling.