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Music comes to a stop for HMV in Hong Kong

Hong Kong

HMV Retail, part of what was once the UK's biggest seller of music and movies, will wind up its stores in Hong Kong after a quarter century as the rise of streaming services from Spotify Technology SA and Netflix Inc make CDs and DVDs obsolete.

The chain's owner, HMV Digital China Group Ltd, said in a statement on Tuesday that it appointed liquidators for the unit. The decision came after the music-store chain, known for its logo of a cock-eared dog listening to a gramophone, defaulted on various payments and became insolvent, it said. Besides stagnant sales of CDs and DVDs, HMV blamed the popularity of Apple Inc's AirPods for sapping demand of the retailer's best-selling earphones.

The retailer has "faced numerous struggles and ups and downs, witnessing the rise of the record industry and the heyday of CD, VCD and DVD home entertainment systems, but as time changes, the global development of information and economic climate have also changed", HMV said in its statement. Ultimately, the company was "unable to escape from the crushing force of the wheel of history". Liquidators will seek to bring in new investors to restart HMV Retail's operations, according to the filing. The retailer's demise in Hong Kong comes five years after former UK parent HMV Group Plc, which once boasted a multibillion-dollar market value, filed for bankruptcy. HMV Retail shut all its 102 stores in Canada last year.

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HMV Digital shares fell as much as 21 per cent in Hong Kong on Tuesday. BLOOMBERG