Looks like HMV in the UK may survive after all...

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by Sound of the Suburbs, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    To be fair, most of those CDs will be made in Europe and the Pound has fallen considerably over the last few years against the Euro. I've also seen used CDs priced at £5 and upwards in independent shops (admittedly, in those locations, you are looking for stuff that is rare and 3-4 times cheaper than discogs).
     
  2. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I've just been into HMV for only the second time this year.

    The Thriller and Houses of the Holy LPs I mentioned earlier have been re-stickered at even higher than the already absurd prices. They are now £29.99 and £34.99.

    A member of staff told me that they have spent ages re-pricing loads of items higher. This is inexcusable. They already have bought and priced the items in so no costs relating to them can have gone up. It shows an absolute disrespect for the customers and that they think they're stupid enough they'll pay these prices without looking elsewhere. As things are, they're doomed. This is exactly how to alienate customers they should be desperate to keep. Aside from good and loyal staff losing their jobs, as they are now I don't care if they go. They deserve it. I find it a depressing place to be now. Of course it had barely any customers.
     
  3. shanebrown

    shanebrown Forum Resident

    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    Well, offers don't last forever. I don't think there was ever an indication that the 2 for £x offers would continue indefinitely. And I'm not sure why people are moaning about HMV prices going up rather than down in some cases, when Amazon's prices go up and down like a yo-yo and nobody starts crying foul over that. And bricks and mortar shops are generally more expensive than online anyway - although with HMV this still seems to be limited to vinyl for the most part. Presumably though much of the repricing comes again from higher rental prices for the stores. Virtually all of the high street is going to be doomed if landlords don't realise they can no longer charge what they want for their premises because the demand isn't there.

    If HMV are going to struggle its much more likely to be because of their choice of stock, I think, which is once again becoming unimaginative and predictable. That promise to start stocking up on back catalogue albums rather than greatest hits doesn't seem to be happening at the moment.

    All of that said, the CEX shop, which is close to HMV where I live, charges more their used blu rays than HMV do for new ones!
     
  4. shanebrown

    shanebrown Forum Resident

    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    Is that the regular Thriller album or the 25th anniversary edition?
     
  5. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    That's not how retail works. If the cost of a tin of baked beans goes up, the store has three choices: pass on the price rise, absorb the extra costs, or squeeze the supplier. They don't price different tins of the same baked beans at different prices. I don't know if HMV are in a good position to absorb extra costs. Could they squeeze the record labels? Ten years ago, maybe. But record labels are now earning more fron streaming than physical sales. HMV could have kept the old price labels on certain items as it might have encourage shoppers to buy now rather than later (assuming they don't have the goods ona sale or return basis).
     
  6. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Maybe so, but do you think £29.99 and £34.99 are fair prices for run of the mill single albums?

    You're beans analogy doesn't work. There's usually loads of tins of beans out in food shops and they sell hundreds each day. HMV had one copy of these records in. They were already priced high and had been there a while because customers who think the price is fair and then pay it are going to be very few and very far between.

    'That's not selling. Let's put the price up by £3' is not how retail works either.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
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  7. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    The regular Thriller
     
  8. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I agree on the limited stock. Most sections are incredibly poor. I went to buy Elvis Is Back! on CD. It's almost universally regarded on one of Elvis' best studio albums and was one of his most successful. It wasn't in stock. Around half of the Elvis CD section was public domain tat, a significant part of the rest was compilations that were similar to each other.

    I just used the 2 for £12 as an example of rising prices. You can make excuses for them and I don't think the £2 rise is terrible myself. But it's not going to help HMV survive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
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  9. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    No, but I don't know how much these LPs are costing HMV. Amazon has lower costs, but it also operates on the principle of the long tail: sell popular titles at or below cost, and make extra money on the obscure titles no one else stocks.
     
  10. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I've never compared with Amazon. Independent stores have overheads too and don't charge these absurd prices. You could be right that the record labels are not being reasonable with HMV. I can imagine them being reluctant to deal financially with a company that have been in serious financial trouble at least twice.

    But, the customers generally don't care about any of that. They want a fair deal and HMV are clearly far too expensive. The shop almost always has very few customers.
     
  11. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    My local record store has Purple Rain at £19.99, whereas HMV's website lists it at £21.99, so you have a point. I remember a little while back, HMV did LPs on a 2 for £25 deal. Will they now be 2 for £30?
     
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  12. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    That would still be a good deal. I obviously aren't happy with the way HMV are, but I genuinely want them to survive. There's so much history to them and I've been shopping there almost all my life. I think it's a genuinely depressing place to be at the moment. They've never been a budget retailer and their prices have often been on the high side, but this is absolutely ridiculous. A couple of pounds more for an album I'll usually pay because of being able to take it home then and no risk of damage in the post. I buy very little vinyl from Amazon and not much new vinyl online. I do use HMV whenever possible, but am not prepared to be ripped off or be treat like an idiot by them.

    I think there's a part of what they are doing that's exploitative of people who aren't computer literate and don't know any better too.
     
  13. shanebrown

    shanebrown Forum Resident

    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    Independent shops are likely to be smaller, so less rent and less salary, so not a totally honest comparison. But the notion that there is exploitation going on of people who can't use computers is ridiculous. I very much doubt many pensioners are going into hmv to buy their selection of vinyl when they probably have the original albums on their shelves anyway.
     
  14. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    So, you think £35 for a single album is justifiable? Only you have mentioned pensioners.
     
  15. Gavaxeman

    Gavaxeman Take me back to dear old Blighty...

    Location:
    West Midlands U.K.
    I’m only tending to buy from hmv if they have a good sale ...or if it’s an exclusive release .... I love record shopping and I would be sad to see them go ..but the vinyl prices on back catalogue are ridiculous..I wouldn’t pay £30 for a single standard black vinyl new album by anyone .. I will wait for a sale or track down an original if it’s a reissue... I’m using HMV online when it suits as they package well and often have exclusives that you can’t get elsewhere..

    I think large scale nationwide entertainment stores are a thing of the past , as the general public moves to streaming of music and movies , record stores will be independently run like a local book shop.. I’m 50 this year and the era of high street shopping is dying out ..towns will be more about living accommodation and experiences (cinema, restaurants, leisure ) than shops
     
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  16. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    I remember seeing a copy of Built to Spill's Ultimate Alternative Wavers in Mono in Glasgow for £35. I thought that price was pure greed, and it put me off the shop.
     
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  17. shanebrown

    shanebrown Forum Resident

    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    who else are you suggesting don't use the internet as a matter of course?
     
  18. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    Retail is retail. The only difference between records and baked beans is that HMV can't exactly go out and source another supplier of Thriller. The copyright is owned by Sony and only they can manufacture copies. It's like they are stuck with a luxury brand of baked bean, whilst their competitors (streaming) are able to source the cheapest possible baked beans. Perhaps that explains their mindset: they think records are Veblen goods (luxury goods that become more desirable as their price increases). I think they may be much more of a normal good.
     
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  19. shanebrown

    shanebrown Forum Resident

    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    I confess I still don't know why people are going out and buying brand new copies of Thriller on vinyl anyway, when you can get yourself a mint copy of the original pressing. It seems completely bonkers to me. I'm also confused as to why LPs now have half the running length they did from the 1950s to ten years ago!
     
  20. DML71

    DML71 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    People shopping in Tesco/Sainsburys are going to buy whats in front of them.
     
  21. shanebrown

    shanebrown Forum Resident

    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    I have yet to see vinyl in either a Tesco or Sainsbury.
     
  22. Eric_Generic

    Eric_Generic Enigma

    Location:
    Berkshire
    The (slightly) bigger stores have them.

    EG.
     
  23. Godbluff

    Godbluff Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    You're not missing anything, generally they have one small cardboard browser with a tiny selection of albums.
     
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  24. Gavaxeman

    Gavaxeman Take me back to dear old Blighty...

    Location:
    West Midlands U.K.
    Sainsbury’s do have the odd decent exclusive though ..and I’m sure Tesco did a few..terrible advertising though and a real roulette as to which store stocks them
     
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  25. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    When it comes down to it, the customer doesn't care about any of that and nowhere else is charging these prices, though of course items are more expensive in shops than on Amazon. The fact is, and I haven't compared to Amazon before this, Thriller is £16.09 on Amazon and £29.99 in HMV. Zep - Houses is £16.39 on Amazon, £34.99 HMV. The double LP is £10 cheaper on Amazon than the single LP in HMV!

    The price difference is ridiculous and nobody in their right mind is going to pay over £18 more for the same record. Customers mostly don't care about logistics or the intricacies of retail, but most have a smart phone and can spot a rip off nowadays. HMV are doomed with this pricing.
     

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