HMV is close to overtaking Amazon as the UK’s biggest music seller as people seem to have fallen back in love with going to record stores and picking up and looking at CD’s and vinyl before buying them.
A few years ago HMV was a joke – falling sales and bizarre decisions, like the one about sacking staff with beards and earrings because they were scaring customers had turned the chain into a standing joke but a rethink has turned it into a people friendly chain.
In the last two years we here at LTW have had several dealings with HMV at several events and found them really helpful and pro-active- some stores like the one in Blackpool put local bands on in the shop every week and seem to be more plugged into their local scene that some independent stores which sometimes can feel a bit too snooty
According to the Guardian, The turnaround has been due to little-known turnaround firmHilco, which also has Habitat and Clinton Cards on its books. Its chairman Paul McGowan says the commonly held view that digital (music) was killing the physical “was never true”. “Only 30% [of music buyers] switched to digital – 70% of the market is still physical.” It’s only a “matter of time”, he adds, before HMV reclaims the top spot from Amazon, which banks 20% of UK music and DVD sales versus HMV’s 19%. Sales at HMV stores have increased nearly 14% in the past two months, including a 21% increase in sales of CDs and vinyl records.
Key to HMV’s resurgence has been an increase in live performances, with more than 300 acts ranging from Ed Sheeran to Megadeth pitching up in stores to plug their latest releases. The retailer says an expanding roster of live acts is a win-win, as Sheeranators, for example, are able to get up close and personal, while at the same time the mini gigs pull in extra punters and sales. They are also good news for record labels too, says HMV, with live performances able to make the difference between a No 5 album and a No 1.