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

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

  1. boiledbeans

    boiledbeans Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I hope my memory is right for this:
    If I consider the HMV stores in London and its immediate outskirts, there has been a zero net change in the number of HMV stores in recent years.

    Pre-pandemic, HMV lost the flagship Oxford Street store. Post-pandemic, it also lost its Staines store.
    However, it has opened one in Watford, and now in Bexleyheath.

    So overall, the same number of HMV stores in the London area. But of course, the net floor area is reduced. The Oxford Street store was 3 floors lost.

    Edit: the store at Lakeside has also been relocated. It used to be near the main entrance of the shopping centre, but today, it's nearer to the back entrance. Probably cheaper rent.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2022
  2. boiledbeans

    boiledbeans Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I've been to the Vault once, and that really is the biggest HMV in terms of stock. I believe all CDs which are sold through its online shop are also available at the Vault physically. Other HMVs & Fopps don't have the full selection.
     
  3. Eric_Generic

    Eric_Generic Enigma

    Location:
    Berkshire
    Ugh. Saved me a wasted trip if I ever felt like stopping off one day.

    EG.
     
  4. boiledbeans

    boiledbeans Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I guess you're referring to the Staines store?

    The Staines store had an excellent selection, especially during the sale in the last 2 years, where a lot of (mostly Universal) CDs were going for £2.99.
    The stores in more central London areas didn't have much older unsold stock. In contrast, smaller stores in the outskirts like Staines and Guildford had a lot of older stock. I remember seeing The Cure deluxe editions/entire Tangerine Dream discography/entire Siouxsie and the Banshees discography for £2.99 each.

    Reading has a very large store as well (I guess that's your nearest store?). It has a even wider selection compared to HMV Westfield, which I guess is the de-facto flagship HMV store in London today. I think there's no need for you to travel further! :p
     
  5. Eric_Generic

    Eric_Generic Enigma

    Location:
    Berkshire
    I used to be in the Reading store a lot, pre-lockdowns. But the location's a no-go now for me (I rely on transport and help from others, being disabled). Same with Guildford. Parking's a nightmare for my folks and the shop never recovered from downsizing so drastically a few years back. I could never find anything I wanted.

    Staines was one I thought about dropping by, as it wasn't in a Mall with multi-storey car parks and tricksy locations.

    EG.
     
  6. boiledbeans

    boiledbeans Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Sorry to hear about the difficulties in accessing the stores. Yes, Staines was really convenient, with the store located right next to the ground level open-air carpark.

    If you're heading out to Kent one day, the HMV at Bluewater may be a possiblity. It's just off the M25 and has (a very large) ground level open-air parking (Try to park near M&S as it's the nearest landmark to HMV). Once you enter the shopping centre, you could take a lift to the 1st floor where HMV is.

    Anyway, you mentioned the Reading store has been downsized. Has it previously been in a different location to where it is today? I've been there a few times, but all were in 2021/22.
     
    Eric_Generic likes this.
  7. Eric_Generic

    Eric_Generic Enigma

    Location:
    Berkshire
    Thanks for the Bluewater info :)

    Oh, I meant Guildford (it moved from a wonderfully spacious spot in the Friary Centre to a shoe cupboard on the basement level) but the Reading HMV was also downsized. They took away about a third or so of the shop floor area (closing off one of the entrances and where they would have books and extra vinyl/specialist stuff) and also down the side. It stopped the freezing draught that used to breeze through on chilly days, but makes the store feel oddly boxed-in.

    When the Reading store opened in 1999 it was incredible. Like something out of sci-fi. Giant video screens, listening rooms, huge displays for DVDs and the biggest singles section I'd ever seen outside of London.

    EG.
     
    boiledbeans likes this.
  8. Ste_S

    Ste_S Forum Resident

    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    On the subject of HMV's vinyl pricing, I was in the 'Vault' on Saturday, where they had the re-press of Ishmael Ensemble's debut for £30. Went to Coventry's (excellent) Just Dropped In on Sunday, where they had it for £16, and purchased it. Amazon have it for £18.

    I wonder who HMV expect to buy vinyl at their prices?
     
  9. shanebrown

    shanebrown Forum Resident

    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    The 2 for £15 Powerhouse/Indicator blu ray deal is very nice, with 2 titles for £15. That's a fiver cheaper than Amazon.
     
    Sound of the Suburbs likes this.
  10. boiledbeans

    boiledbeans Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    The mass market non-savvy non-audiophiles.

    Every time I go to a HMV/Fopp, the vinyl section is clearly busier than the CD section. The back catalogue for vinyl is also much better than CD today. For example, all the Sugarcubes albums are available on vinyl today. But on CD, only the debut is available. See HMV Sugarcubes catalogue: Search Results

    There is a wide range of people looking in the vinyl section, from teenagers to the middle-aged (I rarely see older people looking at the vinyl though). I always have a peek at what they're buying, and they are always the "essential" classic albums, e.g. Nirvana - Nevermind, Beatles - Abbey Road, Fleetwood Mac - Rumours, etc.

    Obviously, they are not audiophiles who read this forum. If they were, they would be going to 2nd hand shops to seek the first pressings instead. :p Or they would find a non-remastered CD, which is usually better sounding and far cheaper than new vinyl.
     
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  11. Ste_S

    Ste_S Forum Resident

    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    These people know Amazon is a thing though, where they can get free next day delivery for significantly cheaper than HMV.
     
    sacdfan likes this.
  12. boiledbeans

    boiledbeans Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Maybe they had a bad experience with damaged packaging?

    Personally, I'm a CD guy, and if HMV is only £1 or £2 more expensive than Amazon (e.g. £7 vs. £5), I'll buy from HMV. If I buy from Amazon, I may get jewel cases with cracks, which I don't know if it was caused by bad packaging or was already damaged before shipping.

    But on the other hand, I'll buy from Amazon if it's significantly cheaper, which is especially true for new releases or deluxe editions (e.g. £15 vs. £8). In addition, Amazon also has a far wider selection than HMV.
     
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  13. ZippyPippy

    ZippyPippy Forum Resident

    Many just like going down the shops and seeing what strikes their fancy. It can seen nicer doing that in person rather than on a computer screen sometimes. I also think many of this number could be from the younger working demographic who may have some extra cash burning a hole in their pocket.
     
    LivingForever and coffeetime like this.
  14. stillrockin

    stillrockin Forum Resident

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    You would need to have a fair bit of disposable income sitting in your back pocket to buy more than a couple of albums in one visit to any shop HMV or independent. Saying which my days of buying cds at a fiver in FOPP are just about gone as I know that the modern mastering will be pretty awful.
     
  15. ZippyPippy

    ZippyPippy Forum Resident

    Which, going back to the original question of whom HMV would expect to buy albums at the current prices, may not be ultimately be sustainable without something to mitigate that issue.
     
  16. wallpaperman

    wallpaperman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edinburgh
    I’m confused at the last two posts, are you talking about vinyl prices at HMV or all formats?

    I don’t find CD prices to be that out there, maybe a quid or so more expensive, but you have the instant gratification and no postage costs.
     
  17. stillrockin

    stillrockin Forum Resident

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    In my case I was referring to the racks of vinyl albums witnessed in several bricks and mortar shops.

    HMV do manage to match Amazon prices on new releases of cds now and again and I think that is a good thing. The trouble is that new releases have stopped going at £9.99 and are now one or two quid more expensive. An undoubted sign of the times. Another trouble is that the delivery record of online independent shops can be very iffy. I have had orders unfulfilled by a couple of the better known UK retailers recently. There is no point offering a competitive price if you cannot subsequently deliver the item.

    As you rightly said you see it on the shelf and you buy it and then you smuggle it home away from critical eyes!
     
  18. Eric_Generic

    Eric_Generic Enigma

    Location:
    Berkshire
    HMV is returning to Staines. Wonder what it'll be like for access etc.

    EG.
     
  19. Gavaxeman

    Gavaxeman Gavaxemanspins on YouTube

    Location:
    West Midlands U.K.
    Also a new store in Shrewsbury
     
  20. johnnybrum

    johnnybrum Forum Resident

    Someone should write a thesis on how on earth HMV still survives; I would have bet a pretty penny, 10 years ago, that HMV would have completely disppeared from the High St by now, but there it is, opening new stores, which I'm very glad about ... It truly is the company that refuses to die :cool: After the nuclear blast, all that will be left is the cockroaches, and the HMV stores, with a few listless punters, shaking their heads at the vinyl prices, and walking out empty handed...
     
  21. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Senior Member

    Location:
    England
    I have no idea how they do it!
     
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  22. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Senior Member

    Location:
    England
    What makes it especially baffling is that HMV has such a poor online presence. Their website is abysmal and has the same high prices as the shops.
     
  23. Porkpie

    Porkpie Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    The only rational explanation for it’s continued existence and expansion has to be money laundering :idea:
     
  24. Eric_Generic

    Eric_Generic Enigma

    Location:
    Berkshire
    Just been sorting out a box of random "digipak"-type CDs I'd packed away last year, and a lot of them are still sealed with the HMV sale stickers on them!

    EG.
     
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  25. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Senior Member

    Location:
    England
    That or Star Wars boxes of cereal are extremely popular.
     
    carlwm and Porkpie like this.

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