HMV purchased by Canadian firm

HMV has been bought out of administration by the Canadian firm, Sunrise Records. The North American buyers will keep 100 stores open but close 27 with the Oxford Street flagship branch of those set to shutter.

Sunrise Records, owned by entrepreneur Doug Putman bought the business for an undisclosed sum, after Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley expressed his interest, Ashley had said his purchase was on the condition of a six month rental holiday from landowners.

Sunrise Records says the stores that have been earmarked for closure were selected due to their high costs which threatened profitability. In total, the closures will see 455 people made redundant but around 1500 jobs have been saved.

HMV had collapsed into administration for the second time in six years at Christmas, citing poor festive sales figures.

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Ikea to begin a furniture rental scheme

Swedish furniture brand Ikea has announced that it will launch a rental service as it works to transition to a greener business model. It says it will test the idea of furniture rental by leasing office furniture initially. The trial run will take place in Switzerland and will see essentials such as desks and chairs up for lease rather than purchase.

If successful, the world’s largest furniture retailer is also said to be mulling the idea of leasing kitchens rather than selling them outright.

Torbjorn Lööf, who is the chief executive if the Ikea brand owner told the FT “When this circular model is up and running, we have a much bigger interest in not just selling a product but seeing what happens with it and that the consumer takes care of it.”

The rental service is part of a move to design and sell goods that can be repaired, recycled and reused.

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Vegan food and drink sales surge in the UK

This year’s annual Veganuary challenge was a resounding success with a record quarter of a million people signing up to go plant-based for the first month of the year. The charity behind the initiative says it has been the most popular event yet since the concept launched five years ago. At the same time, the UK’s food and drinks retailers have reported booming sales for plant-based goods with Co-Op saying its own brand vegan products have doubled in sales since last year. Tesco meanwhile reports a 120% increase in sales of its vegan Haggis.

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