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zavvi Into Administration

Gordon Kelly


zavvi Into Administration

There are some things you can see coming a million miles off...

The latest blow to the high street has been struck today with news the zavvi chain (formerly Virgin Megastores) has gone into administration. No notice has been placed on the (rather dishevelled) site as yet but a message posted on the main page last week hinted all wasn't well:

"A message to our customers 17.12.2008. We apologise for the ongoing supply problems that mean we are temporarily unable to accept orders at zavvi.co.uk. Remember you can still shop at our 125 zavvi stores across the UK and Ireland, where we continue to have good stock availability."

Since then however things have obviously taken a further turn for the worse and more than 2,363 permanent staff and 1,052 temporary staff will find their turkey tasting rather more dry tomorrow. That said zavvi stores will continue trading for the meantime with administrators looking to find a buyer for all or part of the business.

In a statement founding partners Simon Douglas and Steve Peckham admitted "We have done all that is possible to keep the business trading, but the problems encountered with {supplier} EUK, and particularly its recent failure, have been too much for the business to cope with."

Sadly, as I mentioned at the top of this story, you didn't need to be a genius to see this coming. After all, when the planet's most famous entrepreneur decides to ditch something there's probably a good reason why. Add to that the fact what was the UK's largest independent entertainment retailer (like Woolworths) had only recently considered starting an online download service and its outdated business practices really do become all too apparent. Indeed, speaking about the zavvi sale in September 2007 I went so far as to declare:

"All kudos here to Sir Rich. High street music retailing has been dying a death in recent years and with online sales booming and Apple adding WiFi access to iTunes direct from its new iPod touch player and iPhone it is likely to fall further still. Of course Mr Douglas may believe he has a brave new vision to shake off this high street malaise, but I find myself siding with the former crazy balloonist on this one. Fine move Sir."

Sometimes it sucks to be right.


zavvi customer message

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