The street violence that has engulfed numerous areas around London and was beginning to spread to other major British cities last night has already caused major material losses to companies involved in the local entertainment industry.
A high-profile victim has been Sony, one of the industry’s most important vendors of both professional broadcast equipment and consumer electronics goods. A 70m tall warehouse that the Japanese company owns in Enfield (north London) was attacked by mobs and then set on fire.
Early reports indicated that the warehouse, which was completely destroyed, was storing a large portion of the UK's digital media at the time of the attacks. Rapid TV News has been able to verify that the site was the UK home of Sony Digital Audio Disc Corporation (DADC), a division of the company that manufactures CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs, servicing primarily Sony-owned record labels and films.
In a separate incident, a Panasonic store in West Ealing, London, was ransacked by hundreds of youths.
Meanwhile, in central Ilford, Virgin Media saw one of its high-street stores looted early on Monday morning. Virgin Media staff said the shop was targeted by raiders smashing through the front door panel. Neighbouring shops Vodafone and Entertainment Exchange remained closed throughout Monday for security reasons, while Carphone Warehouse decided to close early, heeding advice from its head office.
There have been similar reports of looters helping themselves to flat-screen TVs and other consumer electronic devices in supermarkets and major stores across the country, including a Tesco megastore in Brixton and Debenhams in Clapham Junction.