HMV is the latest high street casualty in the UK. The music, DVD and video game retailer is to appoint an administrator, putting around 4,350 jobs at risk.
The company has been in a financial mess for more than a year now; in December share prices plummeted after it warned it could breach bank loan agreements. The retailer announced a month long sale only last week in an attempt to raise money to put a dent in the £176.1 million worth of debt it carries - it appears this has been unsuccessful.
According to the Financial Times, the slip into administration has come about over the last few days due to suppliers, including music labels and film companies, declining to help HMV with any funding to keep the business trading.
HMV's first store was opened in London's Oxford Street in 1921, and it had enjoyed successful times since. However, in recent years it has faced stiff competition from online retailers such as Amazon, digital download services like iTunes, and supermarkets.
Deloitte is currently keeping HMV's 239 stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland open while assessing the future prospects for the business. It hopes that a buyer will be found.
Speaking to Eurogamer, HMV spokesperson Gennaro Castaldo said:
We don't see this as a final chapter; we still believe there is a future. It might have to be a slightly different future, but one we can still try to achieve, so we're working hard to make that happen.
Because HMV is slipping into administration it means it will no longer accept or sell gift cards. However, there is still some hope that you can get the money back, so don't bin them in a fit of rage just yet.
It's worth noting that HMV has said it will honour all pre-orders, however people should be wary of pre-ordering anything as the company can legally refuse to deliver and refund your item.
We'd like to send our most sincere best wishes to all those who are affected by the news, especially those who may lose their jobs. Hopefully the company can be saved, because if it isn't, the UK high street will lose its last major entertainment specialist.