HMV Group is injecting new life into Fopp.
The music and entertainment retail giant has reached an agreement to buy the recently-bankrupted Fopp brand, its URL and the lease on six of the retailer's outlets, depending on landlord consent. Financial details have not been disclosed.
Going forward, Fopp will continue to function independently to HMV, in an attempt to preserve the firm's culture and trading identity. "We are keeping the Fopp brand going, it will not become HMV by another name," says an HMV spokesman.
The stores are in Sydney Street, Cambridge; Rose Street, Edinburgh; Union Street, Glasgow; Covent Garden, London; Brown Street, Manchester; and Queen Street, Nottingham.
HMV has pledged to reach-out to hire former Fopp staffers to fill the 70 job vacancies across the newly-acquired outlets.
"We remain optimistic in the future of entertainment retail," HMV said in a statement issued today.
"The way that music and entertainment is being generated and consumed is, clearly, changing, and this is something we have already and are continuing to respond to in a number of ways. Within this trend, however, we believe that a viable demand for physical product across all formats will continue into the foreseeable future, and that the HMV and Fopp brands, which are complimentary, are well placed to cater to this across all sales channels."
Fopp recently became a high-profile casualty of Britain's challenging retail landscape.
The retailer had expanded its business from a single outlet-operation in Glasgow, Scotland in 1981, into one of Britain's biggest independent music chains with more than 100 stores.
But the chain effectively sealed its own fate in February when it over-extended through an agreement to buy 67-outlets from the Music Zone chain, which itself had gone bust.
Fopp collapsed June 29, bringing with it the loss of 700 jobs.
Accountancy group Ernst and Young were appointed as Fopp's administrator, and soon after publicly invited potential buyers to come forward.
Earlier this month, Billboard.biz reported that HMV was close to buying in to the Fopp brand.
An HMV spokesman confirms that Fopp founder Gordon Montgomery and his executive colleagues will have no connection with the new business.
"There are no immediate plans beyond getting the stores open as soon as possible," adds HMV in its statement, "but we will certainly consider any opportunities in future to develop the potential of both the HMV and Fopp brands in a way that is complimentary, but which also preserves their individual identities and integrity."