Shoppers in Bradford flocked to stricken retail chain HMV in search of a bargain.
The shop, on Broadway, had a steady stream of customers yesterday, with many taking advantage of a 25 per cent-off sale following news the company had gone into administration after poor Christmas sales.
The mini-rush came as bosses at the troubled firm said they were “convinced” they could secure a future for the business.
Chief executive Trevor Moore insisted there was a place for HMV on the high street and said he was “confident that we will find a solution”.
While it did not reveal its “torrid” festive performance, HMV said sales declines remained around the 10.2 per cent level seen in the half year to October 26.
Staff at the Bradford store, where signs in the window warned that gift cards and vouchers could not be accepted, said: “The official comment is ‘no comment’.”
Shoppers blamed HMV’s demise on the internet and the rise of online retailers such as Amazon selling cheaper DVDs and CDs.
One man, who did not want to be named, said: “It is a shame another store is closing down on the high street in Bradford.
“People are buying things online instead.
“But the problem with that is will these organisations, like Amazon, selling cheap things online, then push up their prices once there is no competition on the high street and they have control of the market?”
HMV is one of only five retail businesses left on Broadway – described as an eyesore and a ghost town by shoppers – alongside Bon Marche, Superdrug, Greggs and Timpson.
Jean Coyle, 64, relief manager at shoe repair and key-cutting firm Timpson, said she was unsure how long the company would remain on Broadway.
She added: “There is nowhere to go shopping in Bradford. We have got so much to offer, such as museums, City Park and ice skating, but people want shops. I think every shop in Bradford is struggling.
“We have been lucky and have been holding our heads above water. But the area is going down and down.”
All of HMV’s 239 outlets – which employ some 4,500 workers – will remain open while administrator Deloitte attempts to find a buyer for some or all of the business, although it is likely that there will be widespread store closures as a result of the collapse.
“It is incredibly sad. HMV is fantastic, but people want a different shopping experience. The city centre shopping experience is no longer what it was, and this particular area is falling to bits.”
Nick Farrar, 63, of Haworth, a dry stone waller.“I cannot say I’m surprised. I used to go in all the time. But now I do all my shopping of this kind online. I didn’t know it was in trouble, but I will try and get a few bargains now.” Georgina Darling, 20, Bradford.“I am not surprised with everything online. It is only a matter of time before other shops go. This area is a ghost town. I have lived here for four months and it has always been empty.”
Aaron Darling, 23, Bradford, a factory worker
“I am surprised. I don’t really go to HMV that often, but I think people will be pretty annoyed. There’s a couple of things I have been after for ages, so I’m going to take advantage.”Siobhan Naylor, 21, Bradford, a student
“It is a pretty bad thing. It is the last major retailer of DVDs and CDs in Bradford. I know you can download them but I would rather buy it off the shelf. If you don’t have the internet, you’re stuffed.”
James Donegan, 35, Clayton, Bradford
“It is a shame, but it is not like a record shop used to be. Long gone are the times when you go in and pick up a vinyl. Also, lots of people shop online and HMV was slow on the uptake.”
Dave Schofield, 48, Bradford, local government officer