HMV goes into administration again

So it’s gone again into administration again… will be be saved for a second time?

Is it really business rate or rent that is the cause of all this alleged ‘downturn’ or is it an excuse just to dump it after they realised that it’s run its course?


The BBC ran it on the news and tried to blame their target customers for using streaming services over buying physical products.
Honestly, all retail businesses have to adapt, diversify their offerings or go under, it’s been that way for quite some time now.


It’s disappointing but not entirely surprising. However, I suspect that Hilco who owned the retailer probably wanted to focus more on Homebase and Office Outlet.

I’m not entirely sure that streaming services are to blame. Downloads have been around nearly fifteen years or so and they have probably done more damage to physical sales than streaming IMHO.

In Oxford we lost our HMV a couple of years ago but gained a Fopp although it wasn’t very well located. However, an independent record store is reporting record business. My suspicion is that people want to support the local trader nowadays, although I accept that we also have a rich musical heritage in Oxford which probably helps.

1 Like

That’s not a portfolio I’d be confident in!


I always buy physical, but I normally use Amazon because I can never remember whether HMV is still there! When I lived in Ealing it actually closed, came back and closed again. I bought a DVD in Gloucester Sainsburys the other day and then noticed HMV was still there. Pretty sure all the other record stores there have gone - one was actually grassed over.

1 Like

Wonder how long the boasting will remain on their website…


I buy a couple of CDs a year, and use a DVD/Blu-ray rental club as I find I seldom watch movies more than once. I prefer movies on a disc than bought from Google/Amazon etc and in the case of Blu-ray the compression isn’t so bad so the experience is superior IMHO.

  • Replaced low margin, cash intensive phones and tablets with high margin t-shirts and merchandise


1 Like

I thought that! Guess the wholesalers don’t offer much trade discount at the risk of consumers getting hold of it. Also I wouldn’t even think of HMV when looking for those items…


I’ve always known them for their merchandise, these areas are much larger than the games/music sections in the stores I go into. I believe they also sell authentic originals too?

I agree with Raymond (@anon10222739) though, digital is the future and it’s this that they should have focused on.

I meant phones and tablets

1 Like

Not surprised really, the high street and traditional high street shops are essentially dead. Most haven’t adapted to the new style of shopping most people want. I wont be sad to see HMV go but do feel sorry for their staff

1 Like

High street rents and rates are appalling. It’s very difficult when you’re being gouged by both landlords and government. It’s highly likely there are locations which are managing to generate a large amount of turnover, yet not making a (significant enough) profit after rents and rates (or at least, when compared to smaller locations in the chain).

In my own local high street, I know a lot of empty units are because the landlords are asking for large sums in rent. Add rates to that, and you could have an otherwise ‘successful’ business yet not make enough to cover your costs.

That said, Hilco, who owned HMV most recently, don’t have the best of reputations. Chances are they were looking for a quick turnaround so they could offload it quickly at a profit. Writing it off at this point would probably cost them less - in the short term - than trying to build it up again.

This is true, and there’s a strong argument to be made that HMV’s mistake was not to invest in online platforms and streaming early doors (see also: Waterstones, who at one time contracted Amazon to run their online sales). There would’ve been a point some years back when an adaptive and forward-looking HMV could’ve used their dominant position in the market to be Netflix, essentially.

To paraphrase Shakespeare, an HMV by any other name is still an HMV. Or, to put it in videogame terminology, a Fopp is an HMV with a different skin. I can’t disagree with you over the location, though. It is rather tucked away, and I stumbled across it almost by accident when I was in Oxford.

Anyone thinking they won’t be sad to see HMV go should remember this: HMV were competition to Amazon, and acted as a brake to some degree or other on their prices. For example, I buy a lot of Indicator blu-rays, a small label who put out limited editions, and a lot of the time Amazon would list their releases above RRP until HMV listed them at a reasonable price. Then and only then would Amazon prices go down to match. Same with sales; plenty of times an HMV sale would result in a similar reduction of prices by Amazon.

No HMV means Amazon have less reason to lower their prices, so broadly higher prices across the board for DVDs/Blu-Rays/CDs are on the horizon.

You could say I’m part of the problem for waiting for HMV to cut prices and then ordering from Amazon instead, and you’re not entirely wrong. In my defence, I have an Amazon Prime subscription which is why Amazon is my first choice. Though I have still purchased from HMV when either Amazon haven’t matched their price, or when the item in an HMV exclusive (there are a large number of cracking films in HMV’s Premium Collection Blu-Ray range, f’rex).

1 Like

In my opinion, HMV needs to provide customers with a reason to shop in store with them.

My last few experiences has been selecting the products, going to the checkout and paying for my goods and leaving. Nothing really memorable. HMV needs to focus on the experience of the customer journey.

Take Waterstones for example, who do regular book signings directly with the author. HMV could do something similar (perhaps not with A-list celebrities but if they could, even better). HMV could also do free music-making sessions with an instructor or have more exclusive in store products. They need to develop a service that customers cannot get online.

Sadly I think HMV’s time has come to an end, but I’d love to be corrected because to me, HMV is like Woolworths. It always has a place on the high street.


Not surprising, they didn’t really change.

I live in a small town, we have an independent record shop, its doing well, but its adapted, its added a coffee shop onto it, so its no longer solely relying on people buying music.

The HMV near me, was exactly the same as its always been, nothing really to encourage you to use it.


For sure, more competition means Amazon had to keep their prices lower. Unfortunately HMV just tried to keep on going how they did before the went into administration the first time.

I always felt their staff were completely disinterested in being there, never had much in stock and took a long time to order more stock in which meant a lot of people went to the local independent dealers or Amazon rather than HMV.

1 Like

Not a surprise with Hilco. Misco failed as well, remember.

Prior to the last liquidation we had a massive HMV in the center of town and they used to have band signings and midnight releases. After the last scare and closure of several branches I’ve not seen a single advert for anything similar.

1 Like

Seems like Mike Ashley is sniffing about after all and has just put an offer in.

Update to the above: I’ve been looking at Amazon for recent and upcoming releases from Indicator (and Arrow), and in every case so far the Amazon price has been considerably more expensive now than it would’ve been last year. It would appear that the brake is very much off.

Consequently I’ve gone from ordering several Blu-Rays a month (up until Nov last year) to precisely none so far this year. I very much hope there isn’t a knock-on effect to BR labels struggling, but I can’t justify paying nearly £20 each for a BR, which is what Amazon is asking for now.

1 Like