Staff at the Derry branch of HMV learned the company had entered administration while watching the news, the ‘Journal’ has learned.
Staff texted each other ‘to turn to the six o’clock news’ as it was announced that the company had entered administration.
There are sixteen staff employed at the HMV store in the Richmond Centre. They are still waiting to learn their fate.
The ‘Journal’ understands that four of those employees were hired after being made redundant when fellow music store Zavvi entered administration four years ago this month.
While it is hoped a buyer can be found for HMV, no official notification has yet been received by the employees. “We still don’t know what is happening, do we have a job or don’t we?” said one employee who did not wish to be identified.
“The hope is someone buys the Irish stores.”
Administrators, Deloitte, have hired additional security staff in all UK branches, including Derry, as customers who purchased gift vouchers continue to vent their anger that these are no longer being accepted.
One staff member said: “I knew we were in difficulties but we had a good Christmas so I was shocked to learn the news as I watched TV. We feel for customers who have gift cards, we sympathise but there is nothing we can do.”
Antoinette McKeown, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council said: “It’s at the discretion of the administrator to allow consumers to redeem gift cards or vouchers. If a new buyer is found, the new owner may honour the gift vouchers or cards so consumers should hold onto them.
“If you have HMV goods that you want to exchange or return, you are not legally entitled to a refund or exchange unless the item is faulty. If the item is faulty, your rights under the Sale of Goods Act will apply and HMV must replace the faulty item or provide a refund.”
HMV stores in the Republic of Ireland have closed but the company has denied that they have ceased trading.
HMV were to make a £30 million payment to the banks this week but administrators were put in place ahead of any deadline or default.