HMV Plans International Expansion

It seems things are looking up at HMV, which is following its UK turnaround by opening a string of 15 shops in the Middle East. 

The high street music retailer, which collapsed in 2013 and was then revitalized by Canadian buyout specialist Hilco, is also in talks to expand into Australia, China, and India. Hilco chief exec Paul McGowan says he’s been inundated with requests to from businesses looking to take the brand overseas.

“We have been approached by so many people,” he said. So far the only done deal is a licensing agreement with Qatar’s Al Mana Lifestyle Trading, which will initially open HMV stores in Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates and then seek to take the brand into Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco.

McGowan says he’s also in talks with companies about licensing agreements in other parts of the world. The firm already has outlets in Canada, which Hilco controlled before it bought the British business, and Ireland, where it has done a deal to open concessions in 100 Tesco stores.

This year it will also open another five shops in the UK, bringing the total to more than 130, where it’s in the process of launching a transactional website. HMV now has 125 shops in the UK.