HMV… and so it begins. How to protect yourself.

We had barely finished the Christmas turkey when the news broke that HMV had been placed into Administration, with 2200 jobs at risk.

The Administrator has confirmed that gift cards will continue to be honoured. The backlash received in 2013 when HMV last went into Administration and announced they would not be honouring gift cards has undoubtedly played a part in this decision, however, it is to be welcomed, and it is important to point out that legally they are not required to do so.

With retail conditions as they are it is my prediction that other big retailers will seek the protections of an insolvency process in the coming weeks and months. Many will be hoping for a bumper Christmas and January Sales to potentially stave this off. All the noises so far from the retail sector indicate this is unlikely.

How to protect yourself? In short, AVOID CASH, USE A CREDIT CARD, paying off the balance at the end of the month to ensure you avoid interest charges.

I was personally caught out several years ago when a restaurant was selling gift cards (right up to New Year’s Day I may add) closed their doors on January 2nd. I had paid cash for the gift card and had no chance of getting that money back! I am still bitter about it, as you can tell.

Fingers crossed that retailers will get through this tough period, but the stark reality is this will not happen for all.

Oh, and Brexit is on the horizon!

Gary Bonner