HMV Closing All Hong Kong Stores, Citing AirPods and Other 'Drastic Changes'

Apple AirPods
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A pair of the new Apple AirPods are seen during a launch event on Sept. 7, 2016 in San Francisco. 

Citing a "rapid decrease in sales" due to shifting consumer behaviors, music store chain HMV has decided to shutter all of its locations in Hong Kong. HMV Digital China Group, which operates the stores, said recent reforms to update its 25-year retail business in the former British colony were "no match against the digital tide."   

There are seven HMV locations in and around Hong Kong, including a kids store and an outlet, according to the company's website. In its announcement, HMV said revenue was down 41 percent this year compared to 2017, and specifically cited several recent "drastic" developments for its downturn, including an Apple product.   

"The emergence of AirPods has resulted in a significant drop in sales for our bestselling earphones," the company said, adding that a "seemingly saturated market for speakers, the lack of improvement in the traditional audio-visual sales and a general change in the economic environment... led to an overall decline in stores sales" in recent months."  

In the end, "suffering from operational difficulties, HMV Retail was unable to escape from the crushing force of the wheel of history."   

HMV Digital China Group's demise comes five years after it was sold off by the U.K. based HMV Group, following its own bankruptcy and restructuring. HMV in Canada experienced a similar fate as its cousin in Hong Kong, shutting more than 100 brick-and-mortar locations in 2017. Dozens of those locations found a second life, however, after rival chain Sunrise re-purposed them as part of an expansion.