HMV in administration (again).....

Posted by: GeeJay on 28 December 2018

Such a shame to see the last major music & movie (CD, DVD, BluRay, Vinyl, etc.) high street retailer in the UK go into administration (again) with potential loss of jobs and stores.  Last time was in 2013.

Blamed on people switching to music/movie streaming and reduced sales of physical media.  Even the relatively modest small growth in vinyl sales and diversification into turntable and headphone sales hasnít been enough to save them.

Since itís resurrection in 2013, Iíve bought my CDs and BluRays from HMV, however I suspect that many turn to the large ĎA****ní place on-line.  I even saw one guy in HMV looking through the new movies and music racks and buying them from ĎAí on-line on his phone!

I guess we only have ourselves to blame for the loss of these stores, and with loss of brands like Maplins this year, itís terribly sad to think of a future where all items come through the front door in small brown boxes or get streamed to our houses.  Convenient?  Probably, but definitely a loss to the tangible experience of discovering, selecting and buying films and music I believe.  I still resist streaming subscriptions, and shun Netflix, Amazon and Sky.  Iíve also terminated my Tidal subscription.....fed up with paying for things that Iíll never own.  I recognise that Iím In the minority though.  Part of me is nostalgic for the Ďold daysí, and as a youngster, I used to buy records and cassettes from the flagship HMV store in Oxford Street, London.  

Apparently when HMV last went into administration in 2013, financial analyst Mark Saunders told the Guardian: "In the digital era where 73.4% of music and film are downloaded or bought online, HMV's business model has simply become increasingly irrelevant and unsustainableĒ.

So sad...

Posted on: 28 December 2018 by TOBYJUG

It was the Brexit voters that saved them first time round with sales of cd and DVD. Then with the grandchildren buying records.

Posted on: 28 December 2018 by Harry

When I worked in the West End, the HMV store in Oxford Street was a treasure trove that never lost it's magic for me. This was the original store, not the unwelcoming and characterless HMV mega store which opened later, further down the street. I was no more a music lover in the 80s than I am today. And today I have a larger proportion of disposable income to spend on music. But I haven't set foot in a music store since I can't remember. I don't need to.

I probably spent weeks of my life rummaging around in record shops in the West End in the 80s. Magical times.  A broadband connection and a credit card are infinitely more useful to me now.  Way of the world. I could also say something along the lines of the loss of interest when all major record stores seemed to become the same and standardised to dross. But that's probably more to do with my age.

Posted on: 28 December 2018 by ChrisSU
GeeJay posted:

Apparently when HMV last went into administration in 2013, financial analyst Mark Saunders told the Guardian: "In the digital era where 73.4% of music and film are downloaded or bought online, HMV's business model has simply become increasingly irrelevant and unsustainableĒ.

So sad...

I don't see it as sad at all. Music has never been more accessible than it is now, which is a change for the good in my books, and HMV weren't a part of that. People bemoan the loss of Post Offices, coal mines, and all sorts of things, but the truth is that when we have better alternatives, it's time to move on.

Posted on: 28 December 2018 by Drewy
ChrisSU posted:
GeeJay posted:

Apparently when HMV last went into administration in 2013, financial analyst Mark Saunders told the Guardian: "In the digital era where 73.4% of music and film are downloaded or bought online, HMV's business model has simply become increasingly irrelevant and unsustainableĒ.

So sad...

I don't see it as sad at all. Music has never been more accessible than it is now, which is a change for the good in my books, and HMV weren't a part of that. People bemoan the loss of Post Offices, coal mines, and all sorts of things, but the truth is that when we have better alternatives, it's time to move on.

So as a music lover you never enjoyed going into such shops and browsing the real life media you could pick up, look at properly and then walk out having purchased something that actually exists? Much more engaging than shopping from home. 

I think itís sad, I buy all my vinyl in shops but do have Tidal so Iím partly to blame I suppose.

Posted on: 28 December 2018 by GeeJay
ChrisSU posted:
I don't see it as sad at all. Music has never been more accessible than it is now, which is a change for the good in my books, and HMV weren't a part of that. People bemoan the loss of Post Offices, coal mines, and all sorts of things, but the truth is that when we have better alternatives, it's time to move on.

Hardly a fair comparison........  My point is about having reduced choice (not to also forget over 2000 people who are now at risk of redundancy).  Being restricted to buying music from the on-line river (with their policy of active tax avoidance), or having to stream from one of the main services reminds me of the bleak utopian future depicted in the film Wall-E, where there is only one retailer (ĎBuy Ďn Largeí) which has sole monopoly of all global sales....

I really donít believe that the loss of HMV is Ďbetterí, and reduction of choice canít possibly be a good thing (can it?).  It does appear however that the trend has moved towards convenience of instant gratification of streaming, and the old model of ownership of physical media has now declined to the extent that the old business model that HMV employed is no longer relevant.  The dominance of streaming was also the reason given by Oppo for abandoning their BluRay player sales.  I find that reduction of choice sad.

ATB. George

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by Jonners

There's an HMV in Banbury where I live, I go in there for a browse a lot and it always seems busy at any time of day. Don't see many people queuing at the tills though. It may be that HMV has had its Blockbuster moment. There are 2 reasons I buy most new CDs and Vinyl from Amazon - track samples and price. I don't stream but my ex and my kids do and Spotify is their service of choice. HMV did not or could not innovate and that is anathema to today's retail environment.

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by Mike-B

It could be HMV is the last of the high street shops  where people go to browse records.  In my yoof it was only vinyl,  then CD's, then DVD's & now its games.   I can't remember the last time I actually went into any such store & browsed & now with on-line shopping, downloading & streaming being the norm,  I really don't see any way back. 

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by JamieWednesday

HMV shop here has been a horrible place to visit for years. Just loads of low end/high volume stuff piled high in an ugly and unwelcoming store. The exact same products can be bought online and probably more cheaply most often.

They could innovate and stick local musicians and artists in there a few times a week, sell stuff with some pride of ownership factor attached or even create their own Ďnot available onlineí ranges. Make people want to come, browse and buy. Easy enough, but they donít.

We also have a tiny little record shop off the beaten track thatís hard to park near and has odd opening hours but selling loads of interesting stuff including pre-owned vinyl and heís always busy. I know where I prefer to go.

Itís the same with much of high street retail. Why should people bundle the family into their car to sit in slow moving traffic, before shelling out to park their car again and mingle with the great unwashed to get to the store of their choice only to find what they want or the size they want isnít in stock and has to be Ďordered iní!?

Far better to order something online off the bat and then go and do something more interesting and worthwhile with your time instead. And I think more people have cottoned on to that over last few years and would rather make better use of their weekend.

This could include visiting the town centre/ high street if they were more welcoming and more interesting/entertaining and diverse. However few are and itís not going to change unless they start appealing to our more diverse tastes, rather than filling them with bookies and the same old shit shovelling shops.

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by antony d

thier vinyl selection in store was poor and they were very late to the game i would and do prefer to use specialist indipendent retailers for vinyl and from

what I have read this is maked by the younger generation who purchase thier digital music in different ways so they were caught in a perfect storm

said but as Mike B comments can't see a way back from this

 

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by ChrisSU
GeeJay posted:
ChrisSU posted:
I don't see it as sad at all. Music has never been more accessible than it is now, which is a change for the good in my books, and HMV weren't a part of that. People bemoan the loss of Post Offices, coal mines, and all sorts of things, but the truth is that when we have better alternatives, it's time to move on.

Hardly a fair comparison........  My point is about having reduced choice (not to also forget over 2000 people who are now at risk of redundancy).  Being restricted to buying music from the on-line river (with their policy of active tax avoidance), or having to stream from one of the main services reminds me of the bleak utopian future depicted in the film Wall-E, where there is only one retailer (ĎBuy Ďn Largeí) which has sole monopoly of all global sales....

I really donít believe that the loss of HMV is Ďbetterí, and reduction of choice canít possibly be a good thing (can it?).  It does appear however that the trend has moved towards convenience of instant gratification of streaming, and the old model of ownership of physical media has now declined to the extent that the old business model that HMV employed is no longer relevant.  The dominance of streaming was also the reason given by Oppo for abandoning their BluRay player sales.  I find that reduction of choice sad.

ATB. George

Clearly we all see these things differently. On the rare occasions I ventured into an HMV store I found it a thoroughly unpleasant experience. We were lucky to have a very good independent record store until very recently, and I wonder how many of them were put out of business by HMV. These days I would much rather browse and buy from a much wider selection in the comfort of my own home, although I very rarely buy music, or anything else, from Amazon. 

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by ursus262

And yet independent dealers are doing really well.  There is an excellent dealer in the Antiques Centre in Hebden Bridge where we get our records from.  He really knows his stuff and is highly recommended.

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by Gazza

It is a shame in a way but a lot of shops don,t help themselves with their customer service including HMV. Last time I was in HMV they had ran out of an item, instead of saying we will get one in for you, I was told to go online.....that was the end of them for me. To be fair a lot of retailers trot the go online customer service line. Be careful what you wish for.

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by Kevin-W
ChrisSU posted:

I don't see it as sad at all. Music has never been more accessible than it is now, which is a change for the good in my books, and HMV weren't a part of that. People bemoan the loss of Post Offices, coal mines, and all sorts of things, but the truth is that when we have better alternatives, it's time to move on.

There may be better alternatives to coal mines, but there isn't a better alternative to a Post Office or a good record shop. If there is/are, do enlighten us.

There is also a price to be paid for the "acccessibilty" you drool over, which is the commodification of music. All artistic endeavour depends on scarcity and/or inaccessibility to some extent. Ever-easier access to music does little except to devalue it. 

Once something has no perceived or real value, it becomes disposable. This leads to the immiseration of artists and increased homogeneity. If things carry on as they are at some point we'll reach a moment when nobody is willing to pay for music and artists won't create it. Everyone loses.

HMV may not be a class-leading retailer, but its demise is sad and a dismal sign of the times; and your post is rather crass and short sighted.

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by GeeJay
Kevin-W posted:
ChrisSU posted:

I don't see it as sad at all. Music has never been more accessible than it is now, which is a change for the good in my books, and HMV weren't a part of that. People bemoan the loss of Post Offices, coal mines, and all sorts of things, but the truth is that when we have better alternatives, it's time to move on.

There may be better alternatives to coal mines, but there isn't a better alternative to a Post Office or a good record shop. If there is/are, do enlighten us.

There is also a price to be paid for the "acccessibilty" you drool over, which is the commodification of music. All artistic endeavour depends on scarcity and/or inaccessibility to some extent. Ever-easier access to music does little except to devalue it. 

Once something has no perceived or real value, it becomes disposable. This leads to the immiseration of artists and increased homogeneity. If things carry on as they are at some point we'll reach a moment when nobody is willing to pay for music and artists won't create it. Everyone loses.

HMV may not be a class-leading retailer, but its demise is sad and a dismal sign of the times; and your post is rather crass and short sighted.

Nicely stated Kevin.  100% agree with you and much more eloquently stated than me!

ATB. George.

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by Alley Cat
Gazza posted:

It is a shame in a way but a lot of shops don,t help themselves with their customer service including HMV. Last time I was in HMV they had ran out of an item, instead of saying we will get one in for you, I was told to go online.....that was the end of them for me. To be fair a lot of retailers trot the go online customer service line. Be careful what you wish for.

Equally some of these companies infuriate me my pitting their retail vs online stores against each other.

A few months ago I wanted some Philips Hue lights and saw a good offer on PC World's website - when I went to the local store I was delighted to see they had the item in stock but dismayed when the price appeared at the till - I showed them the web page, then they pointed out to me a small 'online orders only' disclaimer at the bottom not including store collection.

I asked but they refused to price match basically saying if you want it now stump up the dosh - naturally I ordered elsewhere.  Really seems to be big business testing customer behaviour to the detriment of their stores and staff, but when the staff attitude stinks your sympathy wanes.

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by Alley Cat

If we put convenience/sentimentality aside, the biggest thing I'll miss is spending time browsing vinyl or BluRays when there are sales or other promotions on.

I really hate having to go through dozens of online pages in the hope I'll find something that appeals - far nicer to do it with physical items in a shop.

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by Speedtrip

The last time I visited an HMV store I think was a few years ago in Croydon and came away feeling it was a complete waste of time. The cd section was confined to the basement and the choice was so poor that I felt it wasnít a music store anymore. T shirts, cheap headphones and assorted tat plus dvdís made up the bulk of its wares. 

When I was in my teens and twenties and thirties, the HMV was somewhere I always made a point of visiting and could easily spend an hour or so browsing but itís decline has been steady for the last decade or so. Yes it is sad to see another big chain go to the wall but inevitable really. Many of the younger generation donít seem to have the attention span to listen to a whole album, so downloading  single tracks here and there has become the norm 

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by MDS

I was in the Croydon HMV only a couple of days ago buying a few Bluerays and a couple of CDs. I was rather surprised and disappointed to see the 'closing down' signs in the window and then the announcement of administration.  Ironically the guy who served me pointed out the value I have accumulated on my loyalty card which I guess is now pretty worthless. While I buy some DVDs and CDs from Amazon, HMV can sometimes be cheaper and it's nice to walk away with your purchase there and then. I shall miss HMV is it closes for good.  

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by raym55

MDS. HMV have confirmed that they will honour gift vouchers but as yet I can find nothing on their loyalty card. The purehmv.com website is 'under maintenance' so its not possible to do anything with regard to loyalty points.

 

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by Alley Cat
raym55 posted:

MDS. HMV have confirmed that they will honour gift vouchers but as yet I can find nothing on their loyalty card. The purehmv.com website is 'under maintenance' so its not possible to do anything with regard to loyalty points.

 

I got one of those loyalty cards a few months ago - I went in for a vinyl sale and still remember the gobsmacked look on the assistant's face when I paid for a dozen or more LPs, I'm not sure if she was more surprised at an old fogey buying modern vinyl or the amount I spent, though she certainly seemed keen on vinyl herself.

Trouble is that was my one and only visit this year and say I spent £200 in one fell swoop, then I probably spent more on average per week as a student decades ago when I'd buy at least one or two LPs a week at £5-6 a pop (and I wonder why my student debt was so high...).

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by MDS
raym55 posted:

MDS. HMV have confirmed that they will honour gift vouchers but as yet I can find nothing on their loyalty card. The purehmv.com website is 'under maintenance' so its not possible to do anything with regard to loyalty points.

 

Thanks. That what I found too.

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by Dozey

When I worked for the parent company we tried to get them into streaming in the 1990ís. They didnít see the point. They were also very late into the website scene. The fruits of short sighted management IMHO.

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by JamieWednesday

Some time ago I used to buy from HMV Japan website. Not only could you get more interesting stuff and Japanese specials, the web site was better than UK one and often it would cost me less to buy bog standard stuff and ship from Japan than go and get from the store two miles away...

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by MDS

Gosh. I didn't even know HMV had a Japan website. Opportunity missed now I suppose.

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by Harry

I used HMV Japan for imports. Nice site, nice selection. I have a middling collection of Japanese CDs and SHMCDs. All ripped and stored in boxes now.