Last night we heard the sad news that yet another of the UK's big High Street brands was forced into administration. HMV has appointed Deloitte to handle things from now on in, and the temporarily good news is that all 239 stores across the UK and Ireland will stay open, for now.

HMV employs about 4,350 people across all its outlets, which now look in serious jeopardy. Deloitte is hoping that it'll be able to seek a buyer for the 92-year-old business, but considering HMV's position has pretty much been untenable for the best part of a year, I'm not sure anyone wants that on their books. Hell, not even the music and movie industry could save it.

Bad news for the UK High Street yet again, then, but this shouldn't come as a surprise as first Comet, then Jessops crashed under the strain of the economic downturn. It seems the naysayers were right when they cast HMV's month-long 25-per-cent-off sale as the writing on the wall. The only bright side I can possibly see out of this mess is that you might be able to grab yourself a bargain or two as HMV tries to offload stock, but that's not exactly comforting to the 4,350 people staring down the barrel of unemployment.

With the collapse of the others, and now HMV, it pretty much just leaves Currys/PC World as the only remaining entertainment and electronics retailer on the High Street. How long that'll remain, we don't know. Whatever happens, it won't be long now, if things continue like this, until both UK High Streets and even shopping centres resemble ghost towns. [BBC]

Image credit: Gene Hunt from flickr