In recent weeks it was revealed that HMV had entered administration for the second time in less than a decade. Fortunately, Canadian firm Sunrise Records, led by Doug Putman, have stepped in and confirmed they are to buy up the company however some stores will face a closure.
Putman and Sunrise records had previously bought the Canadian arm of HMV and have successfully managed to keep the chain working in North America.
The company bought the leases to the Canadian chains stores and took on the stock and staff of the brand whilst maintaining the Sunrise branding.
Putman has confirmed plans to increase the vinyl record stock in stores and there are definitely more ideas and restructuring being looked at to keep the brand going.
Personally, in a climate of challenging time for high street brands, you need to give people a reason to truly spend the extra time and interest to come to your brand. Increasing the vinyl stock inside store is something HMV have done as the market share of vinyl has increased, especially after the first take over this decade.
Regardless, whilst that was a good practice back in 2012 to start, in 2019 the market has started to stall and home media has become far smaller and far more selective. With streaming platforms succeeding because of their convenience and their will to take risks with projects, distributors for home media and stores are facing a challenging time.
HMV failed to localise their stores enough after the first stage of problems. By building a community feel and supporting role in the local talents would benefit their presence upon the high street. Realistically the stores that are going to disappear first are the ones that are redundant due to location and footfall, or due to the local community and the unionship of the local musicians and filmmakers.
Merchandise is more prevalent in stores these days, however it would be interesting to see what the crossover is between those that shop at places like Forbidden Planet to those that shop at HMV. The ‘nerdy’ merchandise HMV sell feels far less sincere and less appealing to the cross-over audience of these two brands. They will need to spread their wings to better accommodate more groups of fans and to gain a better finger on the genres and trends that are coming up.
It’ll be interesting to see how the company is either merged with Sunrise or maintains the HMV branding and what steps it will take to maintain itself. In a world where independent record stores are succeeding it displays the importance of knowing the community and offering up more than just a place to buy the latest series of Game of Thrones and a doormat that says ‘Hold the Door’.