Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Inevitable Demise of HMV

Over the Christmas holidays, I was down my local pub with an old school friend. We were chatting about HMV and wondering realistically how much longer it could survive.

We found out this week that its survival is in doubt after it went into administration. It's an announcement I've been expecting for the last two years.

Chatting to my friend we both agreed HMV has an identity crises. One of its biggest problems is that it doesn't know what it wants to be.

Is it a record shop, or is it a DVD and gadget shop? It's everything and none of these things. It's just very confused.

Obviously the biggest mistake that HMV made was not reacting quickly enough to the impact of the internet.

The more I think about it, I don't think there's been a technological innovation in my lifetime that's had such a revolutionary effect on some many areas of our lives.

It's completely disrupted and revolutionised the business models of so many industries, with music being one of the biggest affected.

HMV was in a great position at the end of the 90s to take advantage of the HMV brand and branch out into the world of online shopping ,but the vision and determination wasn't there.

This isn't end of HMV there's still a chance that it will survive. It's got a strong brand image and many shoppers have affection for it.

Here's what I think HMV should do

  • HMV should go back to being just a record shop and stop trying to be all things to all people.

  • HMV should try and take on the role of a more specialist independent record store that appeals to genuine music fans. Let the casual music lover shop online at Amazon. HMV should look at more specialist music market as well as the mainstream.

  • HMV should be a highstreet shop where music lovers can hangout and socialise around music. Obviously if HMV does survive there's going to be less shops around the country but that's not a problem. Any existing shops should be located in key high streets dotted around the country.

  • Independents are still surviving focusing on the niche. HMV should start selling vinyl again. Vinyl will and is surviving CD's.


  • If you have ideas on how you think HMV should survive let us know your thoughts.

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