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Canadian record shop owner ‘enters race’ for HMV

Doug Putman, the owner of Canadian record store chain, Sunrise Records, is said to be interested in purchasing HMV.

The retail boss would rival Sports Direct owner, Mike Ashley, who has already placed a bid for the entertainment retailer. HMV administrators KPMG refused to comment on Putman’s interest, which was first reported in Music Week. In 2017, Putman bought HMV’s Canadian arm, expanding his small chain into an 80-store strong business.

Putman’s bid is said to secure the future of up to 90 of HMV’s 125 UK stores, it is also reported that the brand would be changed to that of Putman’s Sunrise Records. KPMG has confirmed that HMV Brands, which owns the rights to HMV’s name is not in administration, unlike HMV Retail, which controls its stores.

Ashley was favourite to take over at the entertainment retailer, after recently acquiring, Sofa.com, Evans Cycles and House of Fraser. The retail mogul also owns more than 60% of Sports Direct, along with stakes in French Connection and Debenhams.

HMV entered its second administration in six years in December, threatening 2,000 jobs across 125 stores. Current HMV owner, Hilco, said the chain had faced a “tsunami” of retail challenges leading up to its administration. Stores are continuing to trade while negotiations over the company’s future continue.

The entertainment chain sold 31% of physical music sold in the UK for 2018 and 23% of all physical video. Despite the positive figures, the music industry expects to see a 17% drop in physical sales this year.

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