HMV have confirmed that they will close 60 branches in the UK over the next year.

The decision came after a drastic decline in share prices and a 10% drop in sales over the Christmas period compared with previous years. BBC News reports that that music megastore hopes that the closures will allow them to control their costs more effectively.

As more and more people begin to favour MP3 downloads over physical albums, HMV Chief Executive Simon Fox admitted the chain was faced "challenging trading conditions", though the severe weather conditions over the holidays have also been blamed for the recent drop in sales.

Fox continued, "The pace of change in the markets in which we operate underlines the urgency with which we must continue to transform this business."

It has yet to be revealed which branches will be closed over the next number of months, though it's likely we can expect some closures here in Ireland as well.



HMV's Gennaro Castaldo has since issued the following statement:

"We are actually talking about a relatively small number of stores across HMV and Waterstone's chains - less than 10% of our combined estates, which are likely to be located primarily in large-city conurbations and may be in close proximity to each other - thus resulting in a degree of duplication in relation to local demand, which is not really the case in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The vast majority of HMV stores around the country will not be affected, and we will look to ensure that the specialist offer and service that we make available to our customers in these locations is maintained. Likewise, we will look to redeploy any affected staff where we possibly can. This move in no way signals any intention to pull out of entertainment retail, which remains at the heart of our offer, and is ultimately aimed at safeguarding our core business as we continue our transformation into a broad-based entertainment brand that now also encompasses live music venues and festivals."