Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by Sound of the Suburbs, Feb 3, 2019.
Oh no! Just heard on the BBC News that another ten branches are to go this month.
Some of them are branches that were set to go before and were saved, mainly by rent negotiations. I guess time's up. Shame.
HMV confirms three stores are closing with job losses expected
It really is getting to be high time that landlords and everyone else starts to acknowledge the actual rental values of their retail properties and not the imagined values that support their bonuses and stock options.
While I am sad that any store is closing, the article does say that new tenants are lined up for the 3 HMV’s that are closing, you can hardly blame the landlords if HMV have benefitted from reduced terms up to now, and now have someone to pay more.
My local HMV is in a mall that has a fair few empty stores, so I’m hopeful that fact will help them at least in the short term.
Well, closing three stores (or even ten if that comes to pass) is understandable if those shops are not making money because of rents (or simply lack of interest in those areas). That's better than closing all of them. Some of the news stories are being reported badly anyway. The Mirror, for example, is saying that Plymouth and Leeds are amongst those shutting, but only tell you later they're moving (or have already moved).
Our HMV is in the main shopping mall, and on the main outside shopping street, there are some nine stores empty. I really wouldn't be surprise if HMV moves into one of them eventually. The rent would surely be cheaper, and the footfall would be just as high (especially as its the main street for bus stops). But I doubt anyone expected the road for HMV to be smooth in the coming years.
That said, it was clearly not a good Christmas for them, although they were heaving during the sales at my local one. I think the stores have changed for the better with the extended blu ray collectors edition range, and the extended vinyl sections that dont appear to have taken shelf space from anything else. The problem is that they don't advertise - presumably they don't have the money. They're very much in a vicious circle. I do sometimes feel I want to go up to them and point out some of the stupid mistakes being made, though. In the jazz section where I am they are stocking the very same recordings on three or four discs under different titles, for example. That's not the best way to make use of a relatively small space. Likewise in the classical section, they have eight versions of Mozart's Requiem. Surely you make more sales by having the biggest range of material possible. It's probably small change to HMV, but some common sense and people who are specialists in these areas would undoubtedly help.
I noticeThe Mirror is stating that a Birmingham store is closing, but surely that's to be expected given the huge one they opened there recently. I'm beginning to wonder if the media are delighted every time they can spin something as a bad news story for HMV.
They probably decided ‘Birmingham store moving’ isn’t much of a headline. Bad news sells papers.
You don't have to look far to find bad news on the high street. Debenhams is closing 19 stores, with another 20+ next year (I honestly didn't think they had that many stores).
I'd love a job selecting stock for HMV stores. I'm not claiming to be an expert on all music genres, but like with many of us here, it's easy for me to see blatant mistakes they are making and it wouldn't take much to sort it out. The big thing though is the ridiculously high prices. £33.99 for a single Led Zeppelin LP is inexcusable. You're never too far from a stupidly high priced item in HMV. If that continues they're doomed. They made no effort to attract customers over the Christmas and New Year period.
You can always find ridiculously high-priced items anywhere, in any shop, including all online stores. The main thing is what the bulk of the items are priced like - and I'm constantly finding stuff in HMV that is considerably cheaper than Amazon. In fact, in all my purchases there in the last few months (and there have been many), only a couple were a few pounds more than Amazon (most notably the deluxe blu ray of Amazing Mr Blunden). There are constantly offers on, too, which generally ensures there is always something to spend spare cash on: They have 4K blu rays for £6.99 at present, they are still offering some Arrow Films blu rays at £15 for two, there own range of exclusive blu ray titles are also £15 for two, their range of Philips and Decca duo titles in the classical section are still £6.99 but up to £20 on Amazon.
But I do agree that they need to somehow get some advertising to lure people in - that is what they are really missing out on at the moment, I think.
The CD and Blu-ray prices aren't so bad. I buy CDs there regularly. But in my nearest branch as soon as you walk in the first thing you see is loads of expensive vinyl, still a niche interest though a significant one. The new owner was talking about vinyl a lot when he bought it out but he's simply nowhere near competitive with it. I don't think everything's overpriced in there, but the overpriced stuff is prominent.
Pricing regular single LPs at £25 - £34 just suggests they think the record buying customers are stupid. It's not a shops vs online thing either. Plenty of independent shops aren't charging incredibly high prices. They have overheads and rates too.
To be honest, I can't comment on the LP prices because I don't buy them - but there are certainly plenty of people hovering around those racks in my local store.
The one thing that surprises me is the DVDs. I said to one of the managers just before Christmas that I assumed their DVD racks would be shrinking in the near future, but apparently they still sell well. Oddly, the things that sell most are the big boxed sets of British shows like Midsommer, Poirot, Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett) and Morse. I was really surprised - why pay not small sums of money for programmes that are literally on TV every single night? The mind boggles.
It depends on who you are and what your situation is. My parents love these big boxes with all the episodes ready to watch, in the right order, in one place. They don't have the option of Smart TV features or iPlayer or Netflix etc, even if they knew how the heck to use them. So there is definitely a place in the market for those sets. Even I prefer picking up the complete Rockford Files, Bergerac or The Americans for 25-30 quid, and working through it at my own pace and whenever I want, rather than trying to bother following the TV schedules or putting up with adverts/edits.
Well, never come to me for predictions.
Was down at Ocean Terminal mall after work, not to visit HMV but I walked past and there were the dreaded ‘Store Closing’ signs.
Had a chat with one of the guys and they are closing on 25 January. Fopp in the centre of Edinburgh is unaffected.
The guy said that the rent was not the issue, more the additional ‘service charges’ that they have to pay. Assume this includes business rates which may be quite high as it’s a fair sized unit.
He also said it’s possible that HMV might resurface somewhere else in Edinburgh in the future, but for now it’s a goodbye. Very sad.
So they closed HMV Bristol Cribbs in the first cull, then they reopened it over the summer....and now it's closing again
End of lease, apparently - meaning they likely couldn't renegotiate a reasonable rate going forward.
Fingers crossed they'll have a closing down sale - they already have posters up saying "Everything Must Go!" - although I saw nothing actually reduced!
Not sure how long the Reading HMV has left, the Everything Must Go! Closing Down signs have been up a week.
That whole Mall - The Oracle - looks to be dying on its knees....HMV, Paperchase, Costa...all going soon. But never mind, there will be a bank (presumably one without actual staff) and maybe a bowling alley. Woop!
Similar to Middlesbrough. But we are getting a massive fake snow ski slope soon.
Not much use to a grumpy socially inept middle aged man like me!
You know things are bad when you lose a Costa. By the looks that would only leave Reading town centre with three of them.
It was always full, so I wonder what the reasoning is. From the photo on the local website, the closing down notice on the door sounds quite terse and not the usual "we are sorry....etc".
Dramatic u-turn as Edinburgh HMV to stay open after deal done with landlords. Very good news, not least for the staff.
It does seem a bit of a precarious business if you work for them.
Also, i think Sheffield is to stay open as well after previously announcing closure.
Great news. I was in the Edinburgh branch on Sunday for the first time in a while. As a vinyl junkie I surprisingly came out empty handed. Very expensive prices for the vinyl - much of it 25% or so more expensive than say Amazon. It’s great to see such a big selection of vinyl but their pricing leaves a lot to be desired.
Reading HMV also appears to have survived. Agree that HMV doesn't offer very secure employment prospects!
That's a week of stress for the staff.
Pricing is going to be their downfall, if they’re not careful.
They always used to be expensive, and Amazon rightly took a chunk out of them for that very reason. But over the last few years, under Hilco, they had got much better on that front and sometimes were in fact cheaper than the online stores.
However, my friend who works in a branch has been filling me in on his woes repricing all the stock since November - starting with removing all the “2 for x” offers just before Christmas.
And now he tells me he has spent all week repricing vinyl, making it MORE expensive. He said many of the items he repriced were more expensive than Amazon even AFTER he deducted his generous staff discount.
I've noticed most of the 2 for £10 CDs have become 2 for £12. They must think their customers are idiots. I wanted HMV to survive and I still do, but if this is what it is then it deserves to go under again. This new owner seems clueless.
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