[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 29 June 2007, 17:26 GMT 18:26 UK
Fopp closes down its 105 stores
Fopp Glasgow
Glasgow's store is among those which have closed
Music retailer Fopp has announced it is shutting down its 105 shops, as the firm becomes the latest victim of the slump in CD sales.

"It is with great regret that we announce the closure of Fopp," said a spokesman for the company.

Fopp said it was profitable and well regarded but had failed to gain support from stakeholders and suppliers.

Fopp - known for cheap CDs, DVDs and books - has called in accounting firm Ernst & Young as administrators.

"The stores have been closed by management and shop staff sent home," said Colin Dempster, one of the joint administrators at Ernst & Young.

"We are currently assessing the financial position of the companies; once this has been completed we will have a better idea of the future of the businesses," he added.

Fopp has also been in talks with its bankers, HBOS, about its future.

"We would like to thank staff and customers for their support over the past 25 years," the spokesman said.

No salaries

Employees have contacted the BBC saying they have been informed by management that that they will not receive their monthly salaries.

For all intents and purposes, the several hundred ex-employees of Fopp have no means of paying rent, bills or buying food and have wasted a month of their life working for free
e-mail from Fopp employee to the BBC

Fopp closed about 50 shops for one day last week - including its flagship central London branch - for an extraordinary stock check.

When they reopened, stores were accepting cash only, while online sales were stopped.

Branches were closed again on Friday - with phones remaining unanswered at stores around the UK.


Analysts say that the chain has been hit by the rise of supermarkets and online retailers selling CDs and DVDs, as well as the surging popularity of downloading music from the internet.

At the moment we do not know whether we will or will not be appointed as an administrator
Ernst and Young

Similar factors led to HMV announcing on Thursday that its annual profits had more than halved.

There is also speculation that Fopp's purchase of 67 stores from the administrator of music retailer Music Zone had put pressure on the firm's cash flow.

That deal trebled the number of branches of Fopp, which was originally set up from a market stall in Glasgow.

Fopp logo
Fopp is among the victims of the boom in online music downloads

A document issued to store managers, seen by the BBC, said there would be temporary closures "whilst we resolve the wage payments, our refinancing and seek reinstatement of the suppliers' licence to sell".

It includes details of how staff should close their shops, and where they should send keys.

One Fopp employee said staff were informed by e-mail on Thursday afternoon about the closure of stores.

"There are negotiations over wages taking place, but for all intents and purposes, the several hundred ex-employees of Fopp have no means of paying rent, bills or buying food and have wasted a month of their life working for free," the employee said.


Promotional logo for Stuff Market Place Stuff happens
What comes next when record shops close down?

Beatles box set, USB edition Beatles boom
Why is troubled EMI still dependent upon old music?

Rare Turkish music album reissued by Finders Keepers Records Lost tunes
Rare music sleuths make a monkey of the major labels

White vinyl single coming off the presses at the Portalspace factory in Hayes, Middlesex Revived 45
The seven-inch vinyl single marks its 60th anniversary

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific