HMV will not survive in its current form. Its shares won't trade on the stock market tomorrow morning and its administrators will start the work of trying to salvage what they can.
Within what was a mighty retail empire there may be pickings that appeal to some - Fopp for example, a tiny chain of music stores that HMV bought but kept its identity separate.
The chain's prime store on London's Oxford Street may be attractive to purchasers.
But in this economic climate and with the music business landscape transformed by the internet, buyers for big chunks of the firm may be thin on the ground.
Administrators probably have more of a chance of saving parts of HMV than they did at Comet or Jessops, two recent high street collapses. But optimism in these circumstances would be artificial.
And if all of the HMV jobs go, around 12,000 retail posts would have disappeared in only six weeks.
Millions of us share some of the responsibility for the collapses by moving our custom online.
But it is a shocking statistic and a very depressing start to the retail year.