HMV, Britain's biggest high street music retailer, is on the brink of becoming the first post-Christmas victim of Britain's brutal high street environment by collapsing into administration for the second time in six years.
Sky News has learnt that HMV Retail filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators last week amid desperate last-ditch talks with suppliers.
Sources said that the chain, which trades from 130 shops and employs about 2,200 people, had been in talks in recent days with leading names in the recorded music industry to seek financial support from them.
The disappearance of the last major specialist music retailer on the high street is something the record labels have been keen to avert for years.
HMV, which was then a publicly traded company, fell into administration in January 2013.
Hilco, which this year bought Homebase, purchased the group's debt and acquired the business in a £50m deal.
Music industry sources said the rise of streaming services had "decimated" HMV's business and made its future operation unsustainable.
The chain's likely collapse into administration comes amid expectations of a bloody Christmas trading period for the retail industry, with sales having been impacted by last month's Black Friday promotional bonanza.
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Hilco and KPMG declined to comment on Friday.