HMV on Grafton Street, traditionally one of the heavyweight high street shops in the country, is today closed in the wake of the company entering receivership in the UK.
We reported yesterday that HMV's UK operations were at a standstill due to a severe downturn in trade in recent years, rendering the business model entirely unprofitable in the wake of the emergence of online streaming and internet downloads (both legal and illegal).
HMV yesterday issued a company-wide directive that they would no longer issue or accept gift vouchers, but the National Consumer Agency (NCA) has since stated that vouchers should still be valid in Ireland given that the chain's Irish operation, HMV Ireland Ltd., isn't currently under receivership or examinership. The NCA have called for HMV Ireland to honour its "contract with consumers and accept all gift vouchers with immediate effect."
Now, a bit of editorialising: I heard yesterday evening of the situation that HMV staff across the country were being faced with in the wake of the company's imminent closure and it isn't a pleasant one. Understandably consumers are pissed off that the company has declared all gift vouchers invalid, especially with Christmas just a few weeks ago, but this isn't something which should be taken out on the staff, as happened in at least one HMV chain yesterday.
Staff members were faced with irate customers, many of whom were attempting to spend gift vouchers. Some customers shouted at staff, others even threw CDs at staff in one Dublin branch.
HMV's staff members might seem like good scapegoats for this but remember: they're likely losing their jobs and certainly don't need to be humiliated or verbally abused as a result of this.
UPDATE: All HMV branches across Ireland are now closed.
Image by @seanear1ey