by / January 5th, 2011 /

The dog’s days are over? HMV to shut 40 stores this year

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.”

  • I would hate to see either Henry street /Grafton street store go.
    They’ve been there forever.

  • Please do not close the store in Cork City where else will we get DVDs and CDs legally.

  • Moaty

    Company in running a failing, outdated business concept going bust shocker!

    However will those poor musicians survive on the internet? The internet of all places!

  • Oh no! The musicians will struggle for two Bentleys to rub together.

  • @Ralph Most: In fairness, many professional musicians would struggle to afford a beat-up Austin Metro, never mind a Bentley. But they won’t be affected too badly by all this. The people who will be affected are the hundreds (or even thousands) of HMV employees who are going to find themselves unemployed.

  • Lorna

    @Ralph Moist : I think you need to take a look at the numbers Ralph. Musicians make the majority of their money from live performances for a good few years now. Why do you think there are so many festivals! Patrick is right – it’s not about that anyway. It’s about a huge amount of people losing their jobs!

  • @Patrick,….Agreed.

  • kDamo

    Having worked in HMV’s supposed flagship Irish store myself a few years ago, I can say their employees won’t be losing too much. When I worked there – towards the end of the boom years when CD sales had already decreased massively – it was obvious that the entire operation was a joke. No sense of direction and child-like management. There’s no way they’ll survive.

  • Having just finished working in HMV I can tell you that there are no Irish stores closing.