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HMV Boss calls for regulation of supermarkets

Simon Fox warns over death of high street as chain secures bank loan

HMV boss Simon Fox has warned that out of control supermarkets are killing high street shops and must be regulated, just as his chain secured a bank loan to see the company safely into 2013.

The financing was lead by Lloyds and RBS, with six other banks involved. A five per cent share offering was the leverage for the £220 million deal, without which HMV would be going bankrupt.

"We have to be very careful about the expansion of the supermarkets or the high streets will carry on getting emptier and emptier," Fox told UK newspaper The Sun.

"They're still aggressively growing and shoppers aren't spending any more money so the high street does need protection. The shop vacancy rate is already averaging 15 per cent nationwide but it's up to 20 to 25 per cent in some towns."

HMV has already issued four profit warnings this year, and had to undergo a round of store closures as part of a cost-cutting exercise, despite attempts to boost its games sector by launching a trade-in price checking app and promoting heavy discounts on the 3DS.

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