Reports today from many media outlets say that entertainment retailer HMV will close 60 stores (40 HMV and 20 Waterstones outlets) in the UK this year. The company reported 10% losses over the Christmas period with the bad weather blamed. However, that can only share a small responsibility in the company’s financial position as they admitted themselves, the demand for CDS, DVDS and Games are weaker than hoped. For the 10 weeks up to January 1, HMV’s sales in the UK and Ireland were down 13.6 percent on a like-for-like basis to last year.
Whatever you think of HMV, for those who still primarily buy physical music product, this will affect a lot of musicians and labels whose only choice may end up being online if there are no music stores available to stock their music in the local area.
The company runs 285 stores in the UK and Ireland but is yet to identify which stores will close.
Update: HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo sent on a comment:
“We are actually talking about a relatively small number of stores across HMV and Waterstone’s chains – less than 10% of our combined estates, which are likely to be located primarily in large-city conurbations and may be in close proximity to each other – thus resulting in a degree of duplication in relation to local demand, which is not really the case in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The vast majority of HMV stores around the country will not be affected, and we will look to ensure that the specialist offer and service that we make available to our customers in these locations is maintained. Likewise, we will look to redeploy any affected staff where we possibly can. This move in no way signals any intention to pull out of entertainment retail, which remains at the heart of our offer, and is ultimately aimed at safeguarding our core business as we continue our transformation into a broad-based entertainment brand that now also encompasses live music venues and festivals.”