Thorn to roll out Dillons abroad

Thorn EMI, new owner of Dillons bookshops, is planning to turn the chain into an international retailer.

The company says that it will integrate management of the chain with its HMV music retail stores after last week’s ú36 million buy-out of the Dillons and Hatchards stores from the receiver.

One option being considered is to open Dillons bookshops globally. A Thorn EMI spokeswoman says: “Our aim is to focus on the primary HMV business and turn around Dillons. We may in time take Dillons worldwide.”

HMV has around 100 stores in the UK and a further 100 in the US, Canada, Japan and Hong Kong.

The HMV chain has announced that it is enlarging its marketing department with the appointment of a promotions manager and an advertising manager. A new marketing manager is also being sought as Alan McDonald is going to HMV USA to take up the post of vice-president for marketing and PR.

Thorn EMI is also looking at ways of integrating book and music products between HMV and Dillons stores, though it denies it will launch a new brand for such an exercise.

Dillons and Hatchards’ parent company, Pentos, went into receivership last week after banks refused to extend further credit. The Rymans stationery chain is also up for sale, and a number of potential purchasers have been lined up.

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