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The Rise And Fall Of HMV

All About the SOUL David Meikle

 
Posted (edited)

 

(Sorry music link won’t play)

 

Read this https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46699290

Edited by David Meikle

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If the HMV shops don't survive it could be the end of the type of record shop that most of us grew up with. Spending Saturdays going round the record shops was a way of life for a lot of teenagers from the 1950s onwards. Even if you didn't buy anything you'd meet up with other people with similar tastes, not the same thing as downloading or streaming. The Manchester HMV shop in the 70s had a great selection of singles when Derek Howe was there and was the busiest shop in town.

I usually go in  HMV in Stockport but never find anything worth buying. The stock seems to consist of loads of 2 for £10 CDs of tired back catalogue major label releases and the same old compilations of past hits. They don't stock any Kent, Outtasite , Soul Brother or other similar labels. In other genres they don't seem to have the stock to attract regular buyers. Could be the staff either don't know how to, or aren't allowed to stock any thing that could bring in committed customers. It doesn't help when they can't get the category for the artists right, this week I saw Jerry Reed and Bobby Bare in the Jazz section when, as I'm sure you all know,they belong in the bin, sorry that should be C&W section.

Rick

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I think they're the architects of their own demise - part of the establishment dumbing down of music interest into middle of the road mush - coz that's all they seem to stock, whilst also being a key reason the decent independents got crowded out... Good riddance. Dx

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11 hours ago, Rick Cooper said:

If the HMV shops don't survive it could be the end of the type of record shop that most of us grew up with. Spending Saturdays going round the record shops was a way of life for a lot of teenagers from the 1950s onwards. Even if you didn't buy anything you'd meet up with other people with similar tastes, not the same thing as downloading or streaming. The Manchester HMV shop in the 70s had a great selection of singles when Derek Howe was there and was the busiest shop in town.

I usually go in  HMV in Stockport but never find anything worth buying. The stock seems to consist of loads of 2 for £10 CDs of tired back catalogue major label releases and the same old compilations of past hits. They don't stock any Kent, Outtasite , Soul Brother or other similar labels. In other genres they don't seem to have the stock to attract regular buyers. Could be the staff either don't know how to, or aren't allowed to stock any thing that could bring in committed customers. It doesn't help when they can't get the category for the artists right, this week I saw Jerry Reed and Bobby Bare in the Jazz section when, as I'm sure you all know,they belong in the bin, sorry that should be C&W section.

Rick

Brought back memories White and Swales in Stockport looking through the import list and waiting all week to pick your order up .

Walked past HMV in Stocky the other week and commented to Jacky that it was all grey haired customers , sign of the times I suppose .

I still buy cds rather than download or stream I enjoy the possesion of music on something tangible .

Apart the odd compilation not bought much soul from HMV its an overlooked genre and not very well stocked at all .

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Just mark this story down as go for growth, bigger didn't equals better, but the debt levels rose accordingly regardless. Exit any ability to be flexible, to cater for niche markets that might save a company from technological obsolescence etc. Seen this so many times and frankly the only real winners were the top management that got overpaid for driving a company towards an unsustainable future plus a few canny shareholders who knew enough to recognise the symptoms and bailed out years ago banking their capital gains whilst leaving the momentum buying mugs to take the eventual losses. God you could write this script for so many players on our high streets past and present. It's the commercial story of the tortoise and hare 😉

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Odd they went bust after the Xmas and boxing day bumper sales.

2200 folks lose their jobs, rent won't be paid, business rates won't get paid, suppliers, utility companies, and a host of others won't get paid.

Watch what happens to the handful of executives who oversaw the call for administration.

Probably sold share a week or two ago, got paid nice bonuses of one kind or another, and perhaps attempt a buy out of the best outlets.

Welcome to Capitalism working well!

Up the revolution....

Ed

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It's a shame that it's come to this, but technology has advanced so much now, that I guess it was inevitable that shops like HMV would at the very least have to scale back.

On a personal note, i've always been one that has liked to "physically" own the music, be that records, 8 track, cassettes or cd's. I can honestly say, 100%, that I have no downloaded music whatsoever, and this malarkey of downloading music off the myriad of sites that offer it for free, is totally wrong. EVERY single song on my computers, mp3 players or phone, I physically own as a hard copy, in one format or another.

If HMV do go under, like the vast array of music shops have in the past, I for one will miss them.

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Whilst its sad to see HMV disappear its death knell  has been ringing for years. It failed to invest in an efficent, comprehensive on-line system. I still buy the ocassional CD but never from HMV. Their demise is part of inexorably rise of economic globalisation. The last two Cds I bought came from New Orleans and Bremen neither of which have I visited. Therein lies HMVs major business plan problem. 

I do have nostalgic yearnings for the far away record shops of my youth and HMV's passing is a regret. I forsee less real soul releases as a result mainly because manufacturers will not have a large organisation to which to sell. Whereas HMV might take fifty copies, smaller shops are more likely to take just a handful. It's going to be harder to get minority music distributed without larger businesses.

As for how music is now consumed. I admit to having Spotify on two portable systems.  I am able to listen to new music at will. Most gets discarded but some such as The Stone Foundation's latest album becomes a favourite. I bought a physical copy as a consequence.

 

Edited by Firecrest
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With just a few companies swallowing up all the labels to skim the cream from the top, it was inevitable that they would bring about their own downfall in someway as they have no interest in the so called acts relegated to as someone pointed out two for a tenner, relying on the back catalogue to reap them the rewards and somewhat forgetting to push new music that was struggling for promotion.

We have also seen the big revival in vinyl yet the companies just see it as another way to rip off customers, £20 plus for a vinyl Lp compared to free on Spotify, it doesn't take a genius to work out the shops will struggle, especially with a market that wasn't about when vinyl production was just about stopped.

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It’s sad but inevitable and  for a company that stock market listed in 2002 a bloody shame . This is a company with a leading market brand that was according to many business analysts very well run ? “I don’t think so “. 

When a company fails to invest significantly in new tech instead in the late nineties going for a  botched attempt at mail order what do you expect ? 

Ask yourself this who was better placed to exploit the internet ie the power of its brand the access to music and film content , it’s vast musical heritage etc. Their social media presence was abysmal coupled with a A Grade arrogant CEO and the picture emerges of a company that started to invest in emerging technology way to late and are now paying the price . 

I hope KPMG can get some good people to the table to try and salvage the carnage however I fear another Kodak with everything of anything of tangible value flogged off to the best bidder.

 

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spent the last few hours listening to Curtis Mayfield back catalogue on Spotify streamed via my relatively hi end audio system, HMV can't compete with that. Some small record shops are doing ok though, maybe that's the way to go, smaller with low overheads

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22 hours ago, Rick Cooper said:

If the HMV shops don't survive it could be the end of the type of record shop that most of us grew up with. Spending Saturdays going round the record shops was a way of life for a lot of teenagers from the 1950s onwards. Even if you didn't buy anything you'd meet up with other people with similar tastes, not the same thing as downloading or streaming. The Manchester HMV shop in the 70s had a great selection of singles when Derek Howe was there and was the busiest shop in town.

I usually go in  HMV in Stockport but never find anything worth buying. The stock seems to consist of loads of 2 for £10 CDs of tired back catalogue major label releases and the same old compilations of past hits. They don't stock any Kent, Outtasite , Soul Brother or other similar labels. In other genres they don't seem to have the stock to attract regular buyers. Could be the staff either don't know how to, or aren't allowed to stock any thing that could bring in committed customers. It doesn't help when they can't get the category for the artists right, this week I saw Jerry Reed and Bobby Bare in the Jazz section when, as I'm sure you all know,they belong in the bin, sorry that should be C&W section.

Rick

Derek Howes record bar at the top of the stairs came immediately to mind before I started reading the comments ,. Couple of purchases from there mid seventies , Marjorie Black ,"One more hurt ",  Sue orig  0.85p .    Edwin Starr  " You're my Mellow "Ric tic orig ,£ 3.00 .  Not really bothered if Hmv closes to be honest  , not bought anything in there for decades . In the words of the only HMV UK demo I possess "Its  alright ".  What is mildly concerning is I thought "Fopp" was also owned by HMV . I do call in there now and then , plenty of bargain books ,only last week the Detriot 67 was on sale for £3.00 or two for £5.00 (paperback ) Would be a pity if this place folds as well , I did hear it was mainly a overstock outlet for HMV. 

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Well if HMV does dissappear from the high street, and the general consensus seems to be that they will, then I can only hope that any remaining independent shops I visit, are better than that one in Scott Street in Perth, cuz it's the most god awful one I've ever been in. I went in there a couple of months or so ago, and it is dreadful. I spent almost an hour trawling through what they had, and in that time, not one other customer came in. If you've ever had the misfortune to visit that shop, you'll understand why.

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58 minutes ago, carty said:

Derek Howes record bar at the top of the stairs came immediately to mind before I started reading the comments ,. Couple of purchases from there mid seventies , Marjorie Black ,"One more hurt ",  Sue orig  0.85p .    Edwin Starr  " You're my Mellow "Ric tic orig ,£ 3.00 .  Not really bothered if Hmv closes to be honest  , not bought anything in there for decades . In the words of the only HMV UK demo I possess "Its  alright ".  What is mildly concerning is I thought "Fopp" was also owned by HMV . I do call in there now and then , plenty of bargain books ,only last week the Detriot 67 was on sale for £3.00 or two for £5.00 (paperback ) Would be a pity if this place folds as well , I did hear it was mainly a overstock outlet for HMV. 

The branch of Fopp in Manchester is a far better shop than any of the HMVs so I hope they can be saved if HMV folds. A better selection in all genres, more unusual CDs and an interesting selection of books. The shop tries to involve local  public participation by having posters and info on local gigs and events. Last time I was there they were playing a CD that sounded interesting so I asked what it was. It was a Numero CD of obscure US Garage bands and the assistant was really enthusiastic and had a genuine passion for the music. Sadly this is lacking in the Stockport HMV.

Quite agree about Derek Howe's singles counter at HMV Manchester, if only we could go back in time with a load of cash.

Rick

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Since the imminent collapse of HMV back in 2018 the company was saved and the new owners had plans to revive the shops by refreshing the stock so that buyers would always find something unexpected and interesting. Since then I've been in the Stockport shop a few times but not noticed any change until this week. They have reduced the Soul CD section by about 75% and other CD categories by about 50%. Instead there is now loads of vinyl LPs in bins that make the shop look just like one from the 60s. The soul section is fairly small , mainly back catalogue but a few new recordings. If this is the way forward I'm not sure I'll buy much but it would be a shame if HMV couldn't survive the troubles affecting the High Street.  Anyone else noticed changes in their local HMV.

Most of the new CDs I buy I try to get direct from the label or small distributors as this, hopefully, gives them a better margin than going through Amazon. Just got the latest Soul On The Real Side CD from Outta Sight which I doubt even the biggest HMV would stock. Where do others get their CDs from?

Rick

 

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The local HMV in Gloucester is closed although, I think, the Cheltenham store survives.

Have, until the last six months, been a regular Amazon customer for CD's, but since I am buying more vinyl I am looking at small independent shops, direct from the label or specialist mail order companies

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On 20/07/2019 at 19:49, Rick Cooper said:

Most of the new CDs I buy I try to get direct from the label or small distributors as this, hopefully, gives them a better margin than going through Amazon. Just got the latest Soul On The Real Side CD from Outta Sight which I doubt even the biggest HMV would stock. Where do others get their CDs from?

Rick

 

Simply Soul, Soul Brother, and less so these days Crazy Beat for CDs. Also Dusty Groove in Chicago and Groovesland in Berlin. All do good mail order services. I tend to use Discogs instead of Amazon if I can't find something via the first four.

If I'm at an event and any dealers show up then I try to support them (saves on the postage too).

Any music retailer is up against the likes of Spotify (and Amazon), but for people who actually care about music there's no substitute for knowledgeable friendly service providing you with physical product. It's for the retailers as well as the producers to market their wares properly and encourage people to feel good about purchasing their music, just as in other industries. Not easy these days, but not impossible either. The vinyl revival suggests there's an appetite for stuff with more substance than the ringtones that pass for Top 30 these days.

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