HMV backtracks over refusal to accept gift vouchers

Stricken retailer HMV has done a U-turn on its refusal to accept its own gift vouchers and will start accepting them again from 22 January, reports The Guardian. Accountancy firm Deloitte, which took control of retailer last week, also said that cash raised by HMV from the sale of charity releases, including the Hillsborough Justice Collective single, will be paid “in full as soon as possible”.

Nick Edwards, joint administrator for HMV Group, HMV Music and Fopp, said: “I am pleased to confirm that, having concluded [an] assessment [of the business], we are able to honour gift cards.

“I can also confirm that all money raised by HMV for various charities will be paid in full. We recognise that both of these matters have caused concern for individuals and organisations affected and are pleased to have reached a positive outcome.”

HMV gift cards and vouchers worth millions were declared worthless when the retailer collapsed into administration on 15 January 2013. The move angered consumers because HMV had continued selling the tokens after warning investors in December that the group expected to face a solvency crisis by the end of January.

A Deloitte spokesperson initially insisted the administrators had no intention of reviewing the decision to stop accepting vouchers. Edwards said the administrators were assessing the state of the business and added: “The ability of administrators to honour gift vouchers will depend on the specific circumstances of each case.”

The move will be considered a victory for customers who mounted a high-profile campaign to convince the administrators to reinstate gift voucher purchases. Twitter hashtags were also set up by members of the public as a way for customers to share their memories of browsing and buying music from HMV stores.

Consumers greeted the news warmly on Twitter, though there was speculation as to whether many shoppers would already have thrown their vouchers away.