The nation's largest retailer of new and used music, Real Groovy Records Ltd, has struck a sour note, and gone into receivership.
Managing director Chris Hart was in his Dunedin store tonight carrying out a stocktake, which was also underway at the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch shops.
Staff referred media queries to the Auckland receivers, John Cregten, and Andrew Mckay, of Corporate Finance Ltd, who were appointed late yesterday by Westpac NZ Ltd.
Their first report on the business is due by Christmas Day, with a further report on the receivership by June 23 next year.
Mr Hart told NZPA the receivership was a result of problems he signalled in July, when he said a bad foreign exchange deal had left the 28-year-old business in need of capital.
He put the business up for sale after his business partners said they wanted to pursue other interests.
"My personal preference is not to sell at all, and if I could find a business partner with some capital, I'd be here another 28 years," he said at the time.
Today, he told NZPA he was battling to ensure the four shops lived on under new owners, but was not in a position to talk about any transfer of assets to those owners.
"I'm not really in a position to discuss it at the moment," he said. "We're doing our absolute best to ensure all of the shops live on under other owners. It's a difficult time in the economy in general."
A new company, Real Groovy Christchurch Ltd, owned by Alison Gaye Knight and Paul Patrick Huggins, of Lyttleton, was registered with the Companies Office last week.
In July, Mr Hart said finance company collapses had not affected the business, and Real Groovy stores' sales were higher than those of the Sounds music store chain, which shut in November last year after its parent company collapsed owing almost $20 million.
But the arrival of Australian chain JB Hi Fi in New Zealand had triggered a price war between it and The Warehouse - with both chains often selling music for cheaper than Real Groovy could buy it.
But new sales had been only 28 per cent of the Real Groovy trade, which relied most on second-hand sales, where the main competition was Trade Me.