High street "institution" HMV has gone into administration, prompting despair from the opposition in parliament.
Labour's shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has signalled his dismay at the collapse of the music, DVD and games retailer, which now faces a winding-up from administrators Deloitte.
The business may be able to continue on a reduced basis if a separate buyer is found but trading in HMV's shares have been suspended and over 4,300 jobs are at risk. Analysts said at least half of the company's stores face closure.
"HMV is a national institution that has been a feature of our high streets for over 90 years, so this news is deeply worrying," Umunna said.
"For the sake of HMV's employees, we hope a way can be found to keep the business going – the demise of this national institution would be a sad loss to British retail."
'If politicians continue to dither on a decision on airport capacity we will start to prejudice London's premier position'
HMV has finally succumbed to the rise of online retailers, after having been forced to sell off its Waterstones book chain to cope with increased debts.
Its first store on London's Oxford Street was opened in 1921 by Sir Edward Elgar, the composer.
The collapse of HMV continues a sudden rush of big high street names bowing out, after Jessops and Comet met a similar fate.
John Mann, a Labour member of the Commons' Treasury committee, said he had warned about the collapse of the high street. "Lots more to come," he tweeted.
Justin Tomlinson, a Conservative backbencher, said he believed HMV could have a future, but increased competition meant it would have to be "radically different".
"The High Street needs them to survive," he added.
Nicky Morgan, another Tory MP, was less optimistic, however. She tweeted: "Even if Amazon issue resolved HMV business model sadly not long term sustainable."
Pete Wishart, the SNP's Treasury spokesperson, blamed another aspect of the rise of the internet for HMV's collapse.
"Tragedy for HMV," he tweeted. "Made worse by illegal downloading and file sharing greater in value than retail market. Can't give our art away for nothing."