HMV boss Trevor Moore is “convinced” the business can be rescued despite the entertainment specialist putting Deloitte on standby as administrator.
Moore revealed that Christmas trading was poor, and in line with the 10.2% like-for-like slump it reported last month for the 26 weeks ended October 27, 2012.
The retailer suffered from poor festive sales particularly in its technology category – including tablets – which it has been pinning its revival hopes on.
Moore said HMV suffered from a “very limted supply of two key tablets”, but declined to say which brands. He added: ““It was a fairly disappointing level of trade.”
HMV filed an intention to appoint administrators last night as it suspended its shares. Deloitte is expected to be formally appointed this afternoon.
However, the former boss of Jessops, which collapsed into administration last week, remained upbeat on the future of the business.
“HMV is a well-loved brand with a high level of support and I want to ensure we remain on the high street and I am confident we can reach a solution,” he said.
“We’ve begun working with the administrators to evaluate options for the business. But our intention is to continue to trade the stores. We remain convinced we can find a successful outcome.”
Group finance director Ian Kenyon said Deloitte planned to keep the stores open and trade the business to give it “enough time to find a purchaser”.
It is thought Hilco is among those in the running to acquire the chain, as revealed by Retail-Week.com on Monday.
Moore said he and Kenyon wanted to remain involved with the business under any new owners.
“Both Ian and I would be really passionate about developing a plan for this business and moving it forward,” he said. “We’re doing our very best to create a business that has longevity about it. We’d very much like to be involved in the business going forward if that opportunity presents itself.”
Moore said HMV had been hit hard by the change in consumer buying habits.
“We were impacted dramatically by the increasing popularity of online sales, and have also been impacted by the downloading of digital content, people are consuming things in a different way,” he said. “But there are a great deal of opportunities to address those challenges, to develop service and a digital proposition, creating a really engaging retail experience both in stores and online. They represent opportunities for us to fix.”
Moore praised the support of HMV’s suppliers, which have collectively injected cash in tot he business to keep it giong in recent months.
A spokeswoman for Universal, the music publishing giant, said: “We’re working with HMV and the administrators through this difficult time.
“HMV are a great trading partner. We are massively supportive of them.”