Off Topic Messages

Re: HMV - Sad News

Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:09 pm

Bodie wrote:Its like the milkman years ago, there were loads of them driving round areas delivering milk, then when the big supermarkets were selling milk cheaper than they were, to survive the milkmen/women were selling bread, eggs etc just to survive.
Now there is hardly any milk floats on the roads.

But that's not entirely the same as this situation, is it? Milkmen didn't go under because people were buying milk online, they went under because people were buying milk at supermarkets, and for less money. People are now prepared to go to a shop to buy their dairy produce, rather than sit at home and get it delivered from a man with a van. People are actually prepared to go out of their way to get milk now, in order to save money - it's the exact opposite of the HMV/Internet situation if you think about it.

Had HMV been losing sales to another supplier, a new competitor that was operating from the High Street, that would be a different matter, but as has been pointed out earlier they effectively had a monopoly and still they couldn't make it work. Maybe there were too many stores - last time I was in Manchester, for instance, there were two within easy walking distance of each other - but it ought to be possible for a slimmed down chain to make a profit, even now.

Re: HMV - Sad News

Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:15 pm

The Pirate wrote:
Bodie wrote:Its like the milkman years ago, there were loads of them driving round areas delivering milk, then when the big supermarkets were selling milk cheaper than they were, to survive the milkmen/women were selling bread, eggs etc just to survive.
Now there is hardly any milk floats on the roads.

But that's not entirely the same as this situation, is it? Milkmen didn't go under because people were buying milk online, they went under because people were buying milk at supermarkets, and for less money. People are now prepared to go to a shop to buy their dairy produce, rather than sit at home and get it delivered from a man with a van. People are actually prepared to go out of their way to get milk now, in order to save money - it's the exact opposite of the HMV/Internet situation if you think about it.

Had HMV been losing sales to another supplier, a new competitor that was operating from the High Street, that would be a different matter, but as has been pointed out earlier they effectively had a monopoly and still they couldn't make it work. Maybe there were too many stores - last time I was in Manchester, for instance, there were two within easy walking distance of each other - but it ought to be possible for a slimmed down chain to make a profit, even now.


Even if they closed alot of the shops and just had a few major stores i still think that sooner or later they would have closed.
Richard Branson saw the future and sold his Virgin stores a few years ago.

Re: HMV - Sad News

Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:47 pm

i am afraid it goes a lot deeper than one reason. Bear in mind when HMV expanded they were the bad boys and they were blamed for the closure of the independant record stores. Now everyone (in the media) are blaming downloads for their demise. Not quite true. The supermarkets cannot escape for a fair amount of the blame. Move this on and who supplies the supermarkets? Oh yes the record distributors. So before Sony, Universal and Warners start crying and wailing and gnashing their teeth let them look at their chaotic distribution policy. When you are out doing the weeks shopping are you really going to pass by buying the latest piece of chart dross thinking, no I must spport HMV, of course you aren't. You fill the car with petrol and there in front of you is the same chart rubbish, bang another sale goes away from the traditional outlet. Downloads of albums only relate to about 17% of the total, so 83% is still physical produyct, it's just not being bought through HMV. If any of HMV survives they need to take a long hard look at what they were and where it went wrong. Poor Mad Peter (and others) are quite right, the website is awful and don't kid ourselves even the great Amazon's is nowhere near perfect. If I'm looking at a classical compilation box set, track and artist information is quite important!
I first visited HMV Oxford Street in 1958 on the day after boxing day, picked a couple of LP's to listen to in their sound booth and then purchased them. Loving You was one and RnR 2 the other! A rather different memory to the Postie delivering a shitty brown parcel from Amazon. During the next 5 or 6 years the pilgramige to HMV continued, 2 or 3 times a year. Every visit is seared into my memory, what I listened to and what I bought. HMV then became a Mecca, the exclusive releases (Elvis Sun Collection), Bear Family box sets of Orbison and Jennings great releases great retailer. Then the expansion, none of the shops I ever visited outside the Oxford St. store cut the mustard. The decline had started although no-one realied it at the time. My last visit was last summer with 2 pals, one of whom was there with me in the '60's, warm day and no air conditioning. The place was a joke, no imports, nothing worth buying whatsoever and the heat was overpowering. i did not expect to visit Mecca and in the Classical department find wall to wall Naxos releases (cheap label if anyone wonders).
So in my view, shut most of the stores, concentrate on the core business and please don't have an ex Jessops employee as chief executive. Hope I haven't bored you all to tears.

Re: HMV - Sad News

Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:35 pm

Naxos might be a cheap classical label, but it also the best-selling label and winner of numerous awards, and understandably so - the recordings are technically good, and the performances often very good too. But I agree, HMV has become very lazy in what it stocks, especially when it comes to "speciality" genres such as classics, jazz, blues, country, and folk. And it is in these areas that the key could be for HMV.

My local one (better than most, but flawed) as had some discounted classical boxed sets of late, such as the Serebrier cycle of Glazunov symphonies, and the Barenboim Bruckner cycle. I didn't buy them because they were cheaper than Amazon (although they were cheaper than Amazon). I bought them because I could see them, touch them, see when the recordings were made, how they were made, whether they were live or studio etc. I didn't go in there planning to buy anything, but there is a distinct pleasure in buying items in this way - browsing a shop and something catching your eye.

HMV has to play into the hands of these kinds of shoppers, for they are the majority of those who still buy music and film on the high street.

My understanding is that gift vouchers are being accepted again from tomorrow, a distinct sign that HMV is likely to survive. My understanding is that the front runner for the business is the group that bought up HMV Canada and turned that around.

Perhaps the best thing HMV could do under new ownership, and as a new period in its life begins, would be to canvas the people who actually shop there and ask them what they want to see in the shop, and how they want the store set out etc. It is never going to regain the customers it has lost, but if it can keep the ones it still has and appeal to them in a bigger way, then hopefully HMV can continue to be a presence on our high street.

Re: HMV - Sad News

Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:49 pm

Looks like HMV will survive, having had Hilco take control of the business.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21141209

Re: HMV - Sad News

Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:58 am

My understanding is that gift vouchers are being accepted again from tomorrow, a distinct sign that HMV is likely to survive.


You are correct poormadpeter,I spent my vouchers today.

norrie

Re: HMV - Sad News

Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:28 am

It appears the are officially saved, with a new streamlined business of about half the stores.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/jan/28/hmv-hilco-restructuring-expert-downturn

I have to say there have been some real bargains in HMV this week in the jazz section, even before the 25% off. I managed to get the wonderful Jazz on Film sets for £17 each (or £23 before the discount) - considerably lower than Amazon. Oddly these don't even appear to be sale prices!