Nipper on the brink: is there a future for HMV, and do we care?

Graham Soult

Retail consultant, writer, blogger; helping retailers via and Say hello on Twitter at @soult!

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8 Responses

  1. RetroGadget says:

    Interesting experience in HMV Westfield, Stratford City yesterday.
    Went to the counter with a handful of ‘blue cross stickered CD’s only to be told the 20% off offer had finished but they hadn’t removed the stickers because another offer was going to start in a couple of weeks! Discs went back ino the rack and I went back to Amazon!

  2. Gabby says:

    Do you think it is the end for HMV or is there a chance they might survive. It seems the world of retail has gone full circle with independents being driven to the wall by all the chains you had written about and then the advance of the online digital era.

    But not everyone does want online and it surely has to be in the music business’s interest to see some form of national music retailer survive, someone that specialises in a backlog catalogue where the staff know about the products e.g. music and can match the price of the internet through a network of click and collect. I think a small core of HMV stores in major cities like London, Newcastle and others may be numbering 50 to 80 might be viable because not everyone of a certain age will buy online and not everyone wants the limited choice of the supermarket. And how do you know what to look for online if you haven’t seen the group or heard that song in the shop that only a record store offers. I don’t know if it true but I understand some independent music retailer’s think the demise of HMV will mean more business for them.

    In general though, the demise of Jessops and Comet was partly down to the internet but the lack of service and high prices too and too many expensive and unsuitable retail sites. Do you not think that it is only fair that if you look for advice on a camera to safeguard the retailer’s future you should pay for that advice say 50.00 and then if you buy from them that is deducted from the purchase. It is wrong that too many brits browse in shops and shop online. As we have seen today with Blockbuster going and I suspect Game will go again in due course don’t you think given OpCapita’s history with Comet.

  3. Graham Soult says:

    Thanks Carole – an excellent and thoughtful piece there!

  4. Carole F says:

    Brilliant blog as always. Those bemoaning the loss of the highstreet and shops they have nostalgia for, should actually start shopping in the highstreet. I’ve written a different take on this, inspired by some of the angry tweets I’ve read, concerning the gift vouchers for HMV.

  5. WillPS says:

    Zero guilt. Zero sadness. Rubbish shop.

    Made life difficult for all the independents that were actually interesting experiences when life was easy for them, failed to adapt or even acknowledge the digital revolution – with the arrogence to expand out of the failures of Fopp and Zavvi.

    As a business, they don’t deserve custom from generous spirited people like you, Graham. They didn’t behave in such a way when the times were good for them.

    Some sadness for staff but anyone with half an ounce of sense would have had their feelers out for last 18 months at the very least.

  6. Graham Soult says:

    It’s also worth rereading my 2011 blog about HMV’s London flagship at 150 Oxford Street – poignantly in what was a Woolies:

  7. Simon Howard says:

    Great post, Graham! It’s worth remembering that in 2012, over two-thirds of UK album sales were still on physical CDs – almost 70 million units. It’s obviously true that the market for singles on CD has dried up, but that surely can’t ever have brought in huge profits anyway given the low unit price.

    As you point out, I think HMV’s troubles are largely related to other retailers of physical CDs (eg supermarkets and Amazon) – the impact of iTunes and it’s ilk may have been overestimated by others.

  8. Your blog has made me think. And my personal conclusion is that HMV has no value to me and will not be missed. I say this on the basis that I don’t think I’ve been into an HMV store for at least a decade, possibly longer. As a teenager, yes it was useful, but not since. That said, I agree it’s a poignant moment and the news did make me wonder if we’ll have a high street left in a few years’ time.

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