Mr. Ashley, who owns Sports Direct and Newcastle United, bought out struggling collapsed retailer House of Fraser for £90m in August of last year, as well as Evans Cycles in October.
"HMV has clearly not been insulated from the general malaise of the UK high street and has suffered the same challenges with business rates and other government-centric policies which have led to increased fixed costs in the business," Paul McGowan, chair of HMV's owner Hilco said in December.
Mr. McGowan also said that HMV's market share grew month-to-month in 2018, but that industry forecasts predicted a 17 percent drop in revenues in 2019, with HMV ceasing to trade.
Been told we are 12k £GBP down after HMV going into administration— Invada Records (@invadauk) January 21, 2019
If you see an Invada LP/CD in HMV / FOPP just buy directly from us as we wont see a penny from its sale as things stand
We will support HMV / FOPP in the future but only when / if the bizz gets handled correctly
Will Wright, KPMG Partner and joint administrator, said in December that while HMV continued to outperform declining DVD and CD markets, "the company has suffered from the on-going wave of digital disruption sweeping across the entertainment industry… in addition to the ongoing pressures facing many high street retailers, including weakening consumer confidence, rising costs and business rates pressures."
Entertainment Retailers Association CEO Kim Bayley said in December press release that a "tough fourth quarter for retailers" has led to High Street retailers facing "tough decisions", adding that developments were "fast-moving" and with unpredictable results.
"For the sake of HMV's staff, customers and suppliers, we are very much hoping HMV can turn things around again."
Alex Neill, managing director of home products and services, said in December press release: "It's a worrying time for everyone when a company goes into administration but for customers, it's important to remember that your consumer rights may be affected."
Mr. Neill also advised consumers to know their rights, including spending vouchers before HMV ceases trading or filing credit card disputes under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.