Local HMV jobs under threat

HMV staff in Guernsey face an anxious wait after the entertainment chain announced it was to call in administrators.

HMV's store in the old Town Market building.
HMV's store in the old Town Market building.

HMV staff in Guernsey face an anxious wait after the entertainment chain announced it was to call in administrators.

Yesterday’s news makes the chain the latest casualty of the High Street and puts more than 4,000 jobs under threat throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Accountancy giant Deloitte will keep HMV’s 239 stores open, including Guernsey’s, while it assesses the business and searches for potential buyers.

The news follows last week’s closure of the Jessops store in St Peter Port.

Comments for: "Local HMV jobs under threat"

More Local Than You

With HMV likely to go, the market development is a complete waste of space.

Where HMV are should be let (on a subsidised basis) to small growers/traders/florists/bakers etc so to make it an actual market.

Jersey has the right idea when it comes to their market.


yes your right there, Jersey's market is fantastic


What a good idea, get that fish van from outside to back in the market, also have stall that can be rented adhoc, so locals can sell their goods, either arta and craft or food stuffs.


You would need to see the head lease between McAuley and the States to see whether there is a mechanism to allow this, but I doubt that a subsidy would be paid by a private company. In fact we know little about the relationship between the two.

Also, and more to the point - is there a 'percentage of occupancy' at which the rent that McAuley pays the States changes?

In other words, is there an inducement to keep the building not quite fully let? I've heard there is.

So, let's see the lease! But that's a futile request, I think.


Hold your horses, they are still open. They have not gone right under just yet.


I agree with market idea but In addition the entrance to HMV should be the entrance to the whole market or building to get people inside, to get throughflow. It doesn't work at the moment the way it going through the sides. it needs some thought..

Herbert Roth

I'm pretty sure that the States sold a long-term lease for the entire building, so I don't think there'll be any subsidising going on.

On another note, anyone know whether they'll continue to honour vouchers locally?


Vouchers and gift cards are no longer being honoured in any stores including ours, a friend who works there confirmed this to me.

What's Going On?

Not what HMV locally said this morning. The man on the end of the phone said that at the moment they were still OK to use.


The future is also unclear with New Look. Each and every New Look store across the group has aprox. £1,000,000 worth of debt attached to it, much of it at high levels of interest.

Herbert Roth


They say they will not honour any vouchers, so all those kids out there now have worthless Christmas presents at home.

Can anything be done to force them to accept the vouchers they sold not one month ago?


Whether they are honoured or not is up to the administrators. Whilst I have every sympathy with people who bought vouchers I hope they remember that when they get refused and don't take out their frustrations on the store staff, who will no doubt be very worried for the future.


i can understand its not the staffs fault but i have lost money and so has my grandkids i think if they sold these we should be able to use them or are the owners going to get done for steeling this money from the public , they still have been exepting the money under faulse pretenses it is wrong ??


This is just one reason why store vouchers are the worst present you can possibly give somebody.

You give the store your money in return for essentially worthless bits of paper and HOPE that they'll allow you to trade them for goods when you visit the store.

Just give people money instead. They can choose where they spend it and what they spend it on, money doesn't have a use-by date and the bank of england can't go into administration.

Guern living locally

More Local Than You I agree with you I think the HMV site would indeed make a lovely market once again.

We have to remember though I think the reason we lost our old market originally was because people just stopped using it and went to supermarkets where there was parking.

I agree though Jersey have always managed to keep their lovely market and it would be great to see ours returned back to us.


The States of Jersey would get rid of our market if they could but they know there would be such an outcry. However, I wouldn't be surprised if they handed it over to an independent, (probably English), company to manage. Then you'll see a rapid change.


I always had the impression that the old Markets were deliberately allowed to, and indeed encouraged to fail, by those with vested interests.This building would have been better used, in my opinion, as a short term Multi Story Car Park right in the heart of town,keeping the external facade,of course.

Sarnia cherie, my heart longs for thee

My wildest dreams are coming true... It wont be long until No.19 makes a return to the pollet...


Unlikely, I think you've got more of chance of Wollies coming back, buying back their old store, rebuilding the wall that M&S knocked down and most importantly of all, adding a new variety of sweet back into their pick 'n' mix!

Klaus Fluoride

What this needs is a crowd of people with their vouchers jamming the store demanding that HMV exchange them for goods. I understand that people with vouchers are essentially debtors & need to get in the queue with the rest of them, but while the store is still trading the vouchers should be honoured.


Think you mean creditors there Klaus, not debtors.

Unfortunately, the creditors with a charge over the assets are the first in line to be repaid and generally tend to be owed the most (think mortgages/loans etc.). The store is still trading but under administration and their priority is to secure the best deal that they can get for these primary creditors.

The small amounts due to individuals are last on the list and will probably not see their money back or goods in return even if a buyer is found. Bearing in mind that most of these will have been purchased in good faith during the last 2 months or so, I think that this is tantamount to theft and grossly unfair.

I think that in circumstances like this that anyone holding a voucher purchased in the last 2 or 3 months should be given a week to get to a store and exchange it in return for available goods.

R. Williams

If you went into the store and took an item to the value of your voucher in exchange, would be committing a crime as you would not have stolen anything that you had not paid for?

Anyone know the legal situation in this case? After all you would be giving them their issued money note in exchange. It would make an interesting court case.


I imagine it would be a very uninteresting court case as it would be theft, pure and simple.

It's unfortunate but that's the way it works. Those with vouchers are creditors of the company but unfortunately they come well down the list compared to others e.g. the banks that have lent them money.


Time to stop the great welcome that seems to be afforded to these multinationals, they only come to asset strip, destroy local business and flee like locusts do. Many years ago they would have been stopped long before they set foot on the island, guess we were wiser then.

Terry Langlois

how do they "asset strip"? they do up a shop, employ locals and then, possibly, leave when they go bust or fail to make a profit - just like any other shop. I am sure that they intend to succeed, they don't always do so.

and how exactly were these multinationals stopped in the "good old days"? Did landlords refuse to take their rental money unless they were true Guerns? Absolute nonsense.


multinationals asset strip?! This shop failure is down to the likes of Apple itunes and Amazon increasing their market share at the cost of HMV. This is one of the most popular HMV stores in the whole of Uk so obviously local people like it. At least UK retailers employ local people as against online companies. If you are having a dig at multinationals, where do you draw the line, how about looking at Multinational banks I believe there are 37 on the island, employing god knows how many although one just closed recently


HMVs failure is down to lack of business acumen the did not see the download market potential, they moved further out of their comfort zone with the acquisition of Waterstone and continued with bad decisions. They capitalised on LVCR employing foreign workers then moved on. LVCR was intended to aid our flower industry was it not, it was plundered by the multinationals. Another shop that will go hopefully is W H Smiths must be the worst shop in town.

Terry Langlois

Jim, if you are right that this store is one of the most popular HMV stores then reports of its death may be premature.

It seems that the music industry wants HMV to survive on the high street in some form or other and so the profitable shops are likely to stay in business, but with a better business model.

So maybe the news is not so bad for the employees there.


Agree Disgruntled.

The internet (which they are blaming for lower sales) is only doing to them what they did to the smaller music retailers when they invaded the island with their huge bulk buying advantages, which smaller retailers simply couldn't match.

We used to buy wholesale goods and then we would see them in supermarkets/large UK shops for half the price that we paid at cost! How can small places compete with that kind of buying power?.

It's NOT ONLY the internet that can trade rent free with hardly any overheads etc but Companies that can buy vast amounts of stock at next to nothing cost prices that have Killed the local shops.

Of course the shops prices are higher than the internet! This is mostly because they have to pay high OTT rents etc. not to mention the inflated costs that tradesmen charge for maintainence such as electrics plumbing decorating and so on. £80 to screw a plug socket back into a wall which took 5 minutes???? Over £400 to change a toilet cistern???? £2,000 to paint 2 walls??? Would you pay that privately .......... I don't think so! We feed these UK Fat Cats our money then they take it off the Island and don't give a damm about their customers because they are to big to care!

More Local Than You

That whole area (Bordage, Mill Street, Fountain Street) is pretty grim, grotty and unspiring.

Recent attempts to revive Mill Street and rebrand as the "Old Quarter" fizzled out when that trendy art gallery/craft place moved.

I recall growing up (am 35) when the market was bustling with traders, customers etc.

What happened re the vested/interested parties with regards to the redevelopment is a mystery to me. The current tenant mix is a disaster and the inner part of the market where they envisaged traders/independents is a joke.

Such a shame and whilst it all looks very pretty on the outside, the market is a disaster zone for businesses and enterprise - with the UK/Global and even local economy suffering, this will be an empty building in a few years time unless we the people act.

Would be grateful if someone could explain to me how the market works from an economic angle and what say Brett Allen and gang at McAuliffe (developers) have. Presumably the States own the buidlings - but have they outsourced running it? Or do they have clauses/covenants with regard to how it's run?

Uses for market are endless, the current layout needs to be totally recalibrated for the small independent, honest trader.

Grocers, butchers, fruit and veg, farmers market type products, crafts, arts, small independent retailers (who can't afford High Street rentals), food stalls, books etc etc

And to anyone who thinks am dreaming here and not being realistic - whilst Jersey is a good example of how a market should be, another excellent example is St Nicholas market in Bristol or Swansea market.

Town Dweller

Does anyone still notice the arch going across Mill Street, by the picture gallery, welcoming you to the Old Quarter?

It's a very nice piece of iron work, and I must walk up Mill St 3-4 times a week and in the six months it has been up I have only noticed it once.

Shame really as I like the Old Quarter, the sign's just too high for short a***d Guerns to see!

More Local Than You

Funnily enough, the only time I've seen that sign is when it was pointed out to me - it's indeed quite high up.

Errata in post above:

1. It's McAuley who developed the site.

2. Also - Mill Street still has character, albeit still lots of empty shops.

As for HMV's plight, well, it's a jungle out there. Sentiment will get you nowhere in the cut-throat world of business.

Am sorry for their staff, but from my understanding, this was all on the horizon, once it sold off all it's strategic assets in a fire sale (i.e. Waterstones, Music venues etc), there was nothing left except ridiculously low margins and a stinking pile of debt.

Again, if anyone can explain to me how the market is run and who appoints tenants and decides on rental etc that would be appreciated.


Seriously, there's a sign?! My diddy Guernsey stature must prevent me from seeing it, that's what you get for being descended from fairies :-)

I'm going to look for it when I walk back to work after going to HMV this lunchtime, thanks for mentioning this.


I note with interest that no one really gives a monkeys about HMV's plight, other than to know if they can redeem vouchers paid for by their hard earned cash, or to speculate as to whether, as and when they eff off, we could get a decent market style market (!) back in there.....

which echoes my thoughts, exactly...!

If memory serves me right, HMV moved here to make big bucks through the LVCR malarky.

Dear Carla invited big multinationals such as them and their ilk to come over and royally take the p*ss, until eventually, the UK Gvt could no longer turn a blind eye, and consequently all LVCR companies, including the small local firms that were legitimately using the system to make a reasonable profit (and for which, the concession was originally intended), were put out of business.

You reap what you sow, and I for one won't be any shedding any tears for HMV, only for it's poor staff.

Terry Langlois

no, but it is more than a little ironic that LVCR was propping up an ailing HMV and keeping its UK workers in jobs, but was scrapped due to people wanting to "protect UK jobs"...

as you say, you reap what you sow.


*** 16/01/2013 ***



The rumour is that HMV executives are negotiating with a number of potential buyers (including one of the big music labels and one of the big online stores) and that there is a posibility that the chain will survive without store closures (the unprofitable stores were shut down last year). If that happens all vouchers should become valid again.

From what I understand the store themseves are still profitable but a poor christmas meant they failed to meet the conditions the bank set against their loan agreements.

More Local Than You

HMV executives are negotiating with nobody - it's the administrators who call all the shots now. The executives are no longer executives, they are defunct.

Under UK insolvency law, the administrator must act in the best interests of creditors and attempt to get the business back to being a going concern (i.e. something that is not in the soup) - if this is impossible, then and only then can the administrator attempt to realise the assets of the company in favour of the company's creditors.

In HMV's case - you're looking at £200m of creditors and they don't have nowhere the assets to cover it and there's just no way they could have traded out of that amount of debt.

Just reading through their financial statements, they are FAR from profitable - raked up massive losses over recent years and their share price has continued to plummet accordingly as the market has walked away from an underperforming business, whose net debt was increasing, whose management were failing and who was asset stripping to try and meet repayment on their debt.

There is simply no way this business will survive or is appealing to anyone in its current


I must say , given the uncertain position they are in , the staff today were brilliant ! Freindly and helpful ( despite the crowds of shoppers and lateness of hour )

Well done !


More local than you

If you, the people had acted years ago the market would still be a market. You, the people stopped shopping there in your droves years ago.

"Use it or lose it" comes to mind.

I agree with you and others that the market business mix is poor and really the re energising of the market has failed however your panacea of having a working market just isn't viable.

"Fresh Friday" failed I'm afraid.

More Local Than You

When the market was being redeveloped way back when and on it's final legs, I was about 15 years old - hardly to blame for it's demise. People just gave up on the market and when everyone knew if was going to be redeveloped, it made it tough for those traders in the run up to the work.

I do agree that attempts have failed and that there is a lot more to do than someone like myself responding to a newsfeed with "wouldn't it be nice if....", but you have to admit it's a bit of a disaster how it's all turned out.

Who runs the market? Who allocates tenants/decides on rent? Are McAuley still involved?

The regeneration of local markets is a big thing currently in the UK (I mentioned Jersey, Bristol and Swansea as excellent examples) - not to mention all the markets in London (Broadway, Borough, Shepherds Bush etc)

Am certain more can be done here.

Island Wide Voting


I should think the demise of the market began as far back as when Besants opened in the Rohais


I'm not sure what you mean by 'Fresh Friday' has failed. There is a good collection of local stalls selling fresh produce each week and it's always busy. They wouldn't still be there if it didn't work!

Dave Jones


I think you are wrong about the market.

The whole concept of the market was destroyed over period of time by the old Board of Administration. That is why people stopped using it.

It started back in the 1800’s as a building where islanders set up their barrows and sold their goods, they paid a very small ground rent for their pitch which allowed them to sell their goods reasonably cheaply and attract the public.

That all changed in the latter years of the Markets life as the BOA turned the inside into mini shops charging more and more in rents which eventually led to several stall holders pulling out and its gradual demise as a market. In addition they spent very little on the buildings upkeep until it reached a stage where it needed hundred of thousands spent on it and they then used that as an excuse to off load it on as long term lease.

The closing down of Guernsey’s market was possibly the most single act of government social vandalism that many can remember, Certainly since the demolition of both of Guernsey’s cinemas, with the giving away of Guernsey telecoms running a close third.

When the Market building was handed over to the present lease holder a part of St Peter Port died and no amount of glitzy English shops will ever bring back the atmosphere of a lively traditional French market which Guernsey’s clearly was. It was a place visitors flocked to in its heyday and it was without doubt one of the most vibrant parts of St Peter Port.

It is also my belief that the closing of market street was a contributing factor to the loss of the Gabriel chain of shops in Fountain street, In fact I know it was as I spoke to Brian Gabriel only a few months ago, who told me that once market street had gone so his business went into decline.

Hundreds of people during the course of a day made use of the half hour parking spaces in market square to nip to Gabriel’s for a shirt or the children’s School uniform or whatever. Many did the fountain / market street circuit, picking up family members the whole area was an integral part of the shopping experience of St Peter Port, whether you wanted to pick up a shirt some flowers of a chancre for tea it didn’t matter it was part of our way of life and I know I am not the only one who misses it simply because it was part of Guernsey’s everyday life.


Very sad to see the demise of HMV, and I cannot imagine any company taking it over unless they drastically change the goods they offer to sell.

Buying DVDs and CDs games etc is now done mostly online me thinks, so what else could the company trade in.

Nothing springs to mind, other than they go into the charity shop business.

Must go as Amazon is waiting for my order.

Terry Langlois

The music industry and record suppliers have a vested interest in ensuring that it survives and so the indications are that they will agree special terms to make it easier for the brand to continue in business.

But they do need to change from being a bargain basement seller of CDs (ie competing with amazon etc), to being a higher end shop where people want to go to look around and find things to buy.


No offence Deputy Jones but stick to politics. I admit your good at that.

The reason Gabriels went is that they were selling a pair of jeans for the same price they were fifteen years before (and that's from someone who really knows) if you get what I mean.

I am concerned that a member of our government can be so wide of the mark on what really is very basic economics. The market's heyday was many ,many years ago and you really should accept that. Please remove your rose tinted glasses.

Deputy Jones I do agree with you that the conversion of the market building to what it is now has not been a success. I also agree that it was sad that the market went but as I said earlier "use it or lose it". Basic economics . The reality is that people stopped using the market because they were unwilling to carry what they bought down to the bus station as they did in the old days. Moving forward what exactly would you like to see done with the market building? The problem is I don't think the states can afford to take it back.

Chris I don't know which fresh friday your going to, last time I was there there were three stalls and hardly anyone around.

Dave Jones


None taken

You have your view of what caused the markets demise and I have mine

We will just have to agree to disagree.

For the future I think the building if used for retail will never generate the bussines needed to service the lease, unless of course the operators get a pepper corn rent, without parking closer to the facility it does not have much of a future.

It might work as a decent restaurant or some other eating house but I have my doubts. The area has been destroyed in my opinion and unles market street is re- opened it's future looks pretty bleak.

More Local Than You

Thank you Mr Jones for your reply.

So what is the answer? How do we going about changing this? Surely something can be done to reinvigorate the area? A committee formed and various people/parties lobbied?

Any thoughts on what could be done would be appreciated.


just google Mercado San Miguel Madrid to see what can be done with a near derelict covered market...


Dave having read your posts on this i think you have it about right its just a shame so many in the past failed to share your logic and common sense on this.



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