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Al Krow

Farewell to HMV

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35 minutes ago, Drax said:

Profit just £247k last year, with debts of £40m.. 

Most of that debt is to Hilco its "vulture fund" parent, so they are still calling the shots even now - the KPMG Administrator is running the venture for the benefit of its creditors, and that is currently mainly Hilco.

It seems to me if there was a team who was prepared not to gouge out the cash flow of this business for their own personal gain it could very well survive, particularly if it changed its business model to become much more online.

I wonder if senior management will have the courage to go for a management buy out and run it for the benefit of its customers and staff and not for a tax haven based vulture fund? If they're not prepared to do that, then maybe there isn't too much future for HMV. Sadly.

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That is the way of quite a lot of those large shops that have been profitable for decades, a vulture firm comes in, buys the business with a future debt based on the profitability of the business, runs the shop but having to service the debt of buying it, and takes the rest out of profit making themselves a lot, then winds it up owing millions and the people who always worked there get nothing. See BHS etc. 

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4 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

That is the way of quite a lot of those large shops that have been profitable for decades, a vulture firm comes in, buys the business with a future debt based on the profitability of the business, runs the shop but having to service the debt of buying it, and takes the rest out of profit making themselves a lot, then winds it up owing millions and the people who always worked there get nothing. See BHS etc. 

...and more recently Debenhams.

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3 hours ago, Woodinblack said:

That is the way of quite a lot of those large shops that have been profitable for decades, a vulture firm comes in, buys the business with a future debt based on the profitability of the business, runs the shop but having to service the debt of buying it, and takes the rest out of profit making themselves a lot, then winds it up owing millions and the people who always worked there get nothing. See BHS etc. 

HMV was not profitable when Hilco took it on. It had already collapsed  and Hilco assumed the £176m HMV debt when they bought. They also kept the majority of the stores open maintaining the jobs of the staff until now.

in response to Al Krow, the store made a loss of nearly £17m against sales of £970m in its last year of trade  before Hilco took it on. 

Edited by Bobthedog

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I nipped into their bluewater store yesterday was fairly rammed - however ... their “sale offering” in the vinyl section was pathetic - so i left emptyhanded - which os fine as would rather spend it with small independents (local or discogs)

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20 hours ago, Normski said:

We are all hopeful that there will someone who will buy HMV. It’s not over yet. In the meantime we are still trading & we’ve been told that we should remain optimistic. It’s not easy carrying on working under these circumstances but we live in hope. Please support us bass friends as we need it! 

Don't usually go into a CD store in town, or nearest city, since there are usually none!  A few small indy shops come and go. I did call in HMV  on a rare town visit back in the summer and found Chris Squire's Fish out of water in the rack. Seemed to have a good a-z selection of rock/pop and another for metal. Last week got Parachute, The Pretty Things and today their  S F Sorrow, both in the rack. (Can't find new stuff that I like anywhere!). I wished the guy behind the counter all the best.  I hope it survives. Would help if more avoided Amazon and their non-payment of tax business model.

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8 hours ago, spectoremg said:

HMV (King Canute), the tide (retail trends). I'm not hopeful.

Retail needs to reinvent itself.

Westfield in East London is rammed; turns over a £1 billion a year.

Going out needs to be a destination, dare I say fun / something to look forward to.

Pubs hire live bands for a reason, right? And it's not because they improve the taste of the beer.

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On 30/12/2018 at 00:49, Al Krow said:

...[ Btw - and I know it's a complete thread side-track (hence the brackets) but another thing I've not got my head around is whether global warming is actually going to be a good thing?! After all far more old folk die of hypothermia in the UK than do of heat-stroke. Vast swathes of tundra around the world will suddenly become more productive: Siberia and Greenland together are the is the size of Western Europe + India. I'd love to read a balanced argument about the pros and cons; at the moment unless you can faithfully spout just the cons you're classed as a heretic. Hmmm...sounds like a good subject for an Off Topic thread!]

If I understood correctly what was said at the recent Polish meeting, if (when..?) the Antarctic ice has all melted away, the world's oceans will be seventy metres deeper. I've not seen a world map with that 70m coastline drawn on it, but a lot of people will need to learn to swim, and many nations will become disconnected islands. S'not electric cars we'll be needing, but electric canoes. Due for end of century or near enough, I believe. Global warming, pshaw..? Hmm... Not for some. :/

Still, let the scoffers scoff, eh..? It's not the moral high ground that's needed, but the geographical high ground.

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On 29/12/2018 at 16:15, The59Sound said:

Buying physical music will never go away. I have kept all my albums I've burnt onto my iPhone. Why? If my hard drive goes t!ts up, I have a backup.

Streaming as well. I hate streaming. When you lose signal out and about, no music. When you lose wi-fi connection, no music. When you can't afford £9.99 every month, no music.

Burning all my albums onto my iPhone negates all these issues. It's my music, that I own and can listen to no matter where I am. 

Buy another hard drive and keep it up to date with the main one. Hard drives die unexpectedly and the cost of the loss is a heavy one 

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On 30/12/2018 at 02:01, Maude said:

Coreen Bailey Rae is smart, she calls them records, be smart like Coreen 👍

Isn’t it Corinne ?

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5 hours ago, Geek99 said:

Buy another hard drive and keep it up to date with the main one. Hard drives die unexpectedly and the cost of the loss is a heavy one 

I have several pen drives also. 

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I used to love HMV back in the day - my local one was in Guildford, which meant a trip out, and they were much larger than their competitors (Our Price, and then Virgin) so had a lot more stock, limited editions, picture discs, and loads more choice that made it worth spending some time flicking through the racks.  I bought the tickets to the first ever gig I went to (Hanoi Rocks, Guildford University, 1984)  from there.

Since the last collapse (and certainly for some years prior to then) music doesn't seem to be what they do any more.  They still have a reasonably sized Guildford shop, crammed with shelves full of DVDs, some badly organised blu rays and piles of cheap books. Racks of sweets line the queue to the checkouts.  Sweets FFS!  What music they do have is unadventurous, and seemingly priced at the full RRP until such time as it can be put into one of their never ending "5 for £30" offers.  The only thing I have bought from HMV in the last few years have been exclusive blu ray releases, and those largely on line.  Even the Oxford Street shop is much reduced from previous incarnations - the previous one maintained a very good selection of CDs, but the new one is a slightly larger version of the one to be found on your local high street.  There just doesn't seem to be any particular reason to go into the shops any more, and certainly no reason to make a special trip to go there.

There used to be one in Camberley, but it was always a distant second best to the tiny RockBox, an independent shop where i will still make a trip for an hour or two browsing the racks.

So they don't compete on stock, they don't compete on price, and in the days of Amazon they certainly don't compete on convenience.  If I had one anywhere near where i work then maybe I'd pop in from time to time...maybe.  I'm sad to see any retailer lost from the high street, but at some point the retailer has to make it worth my while to support them.  Given that they own Fopp, and share a lot of stock with them, it amazes me that they are able to make Fopp a much more attractive place to visit - does compete on price, does compete on stock, doesn't have racks of sweets...

Edited by Monkey Steve
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37 minutes ago, Monkey Steve said:

There used to be one in Camberley, but it was always a distance second best to the tiny RockBox, an independent shop where i will still make a trip for an hour or two browsing the racks.

 

The Rock Box used to be wonderful...haven't been in there for years and it's only about ten minutes from me.  Just as a trivia point, Ken put Muse on in the shop at a midnight show the day their first album was released.

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10 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

The Rock Box used to be wonderful...haven't been in there for years and it's only about ten minutes from me.  Just as a trivia point, Ken put Muse on in the shop at a midnight show the day their first album was released.

It opened when I was at 6th form at Collingwood, so we used to wander down there in free periods for a poke about - I got a purple vinyl version of Led Zep IV, and remember not buying Live Like A Suicide that was in stock before GnR went massive (and of course it had been sold once I'd seen them live, bought Appetite for Destruction and decided that maybe I should get that other one after all).  Brilliant place, and in those days (when vinyl was king) it seemed a much more an exclusively metal/punk shop.

Seems less well stocked now than in past years - whereas a few years ago they seemed to have every release by every band you can think of, and all the rarities, it's a bit more select/random these days, but still a good place to go for a nose around

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5 minutes ago, Monkey Steve said:

It opened when I was at 6th form at Collingwood, so we used to wander down there in free periods for a poke about - I got a purple vinyl version of Led Zep IV, and remember not buying Live Like A Suicide that was in stock before GnR went massive (and of course it had been sold once I'd seen them live, bought Appetite for Destruction and decided that maybe I should get that other one after all).  Brilliant place, and in those days (when vinyl was king) it seemed a much more an exclusively metal/punk shop.

Seems less well stocked now than in past years - whereas a few years ago they seemed to have every release by every band you can think of, and all the rarities, it's a bit more select/random these days, but still a good place to go for a nose around

Sounds like a great place - embrace it while you can before Amazon comes along to eat it up and spew it out...😒

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My sister once fancied a guy who worked there. She sent me in to buy The Pogues Rum, Sodomy and the Lash when it came out, because she was too embarrassed to get it. I was 12 at the time. So I went up to the counter with that and The Damned's Phantasmagoria, that my sister also wanted. Handed them over to the guy who then proceeded to compliment me on excellent taste in music and we talked about bands for about 15 minutes before I left the shop. I never told him the albums were for my sister, she was mad when I eventually came out of the shop. The next time we went into the shop when came over to me and recommended some new releases and had a chat. My sister just stood there glaring at me. I imagine she wanted me to introduce her, but I didn't :D

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I will miss HMV. It's one of my regular lunch time visits working in the city centre. 

Its also in quite a prominent spot on our High Street so will mean another empty property. Probably end up with another coffee shop.

 

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Did anyone here work in either of the Oxford Street locations? I'm curious about something...

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On 30/12/2018 at 11:31, Woodinblack said:

That is the way of quite a lot of those large shops that have been profitable for decades, a vulture firm comes in, buys the business with a future debt based on the profitability of the business, runs the shop but having to service the debt of buying it, and takes the rest out of profit making themselves a lot, then winds it up owing millions and the people who always worked there get nothing. See BHS etc. 

and nobody gets prosecuted ... the bhs saga was utterly shameful how the fk do these individuals sleep at night

 

19 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

Did anyone here work in either of the Oxford Street locations? I'm curious about something...

no, but i spent a fkton of cash in there 🤣

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, bassbiscuits said:

I will miss HMV. It's one of my regular lunch time visits working in the city centre. 

Its also in quite a prominent spot on our High Street so will mean another empty property. Probably end up with another coffee shop.

 

Pfft, that’s so 2015. It’ll be a combo of betting shop, vape shop and pop up tat shop. Or maybe a bright house...

Edited by Daz39
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1 hour ago, NancyJohnson said:

Did anyone here work in either of the Oxford Street locations? I'm curious about something...

I was a Christmas temp at the 360 Oxford Street shop nearly 20 (blimey, I feel old) years ago.

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1 hour ago, steve-bbb said:

and nobody gets prosecuted ... the bhs saga was utterly shameful how the fk do these individuals sleep at night 

Probably on very comfortable beds with very expensive sheets I would imagine

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Fozza said:

I was a Christmas temp at the 360 Oxford Street shop nearly 20 (blimey, I feel old) years ago.

OK, here goes.

Quite a while back I was listening to LBC radio (Robert Elms) and caught the tail end of a discussion in which someone was talking about the north side of Oxford Street. 

The guy was saying that when the old Tyburn Road was being redeveloped into Oxford Street, there wasn't wholesale demolition of the old warren of streets on the north side as Tyburn Road was elevated, higher that the surrounding land.  As a consequence, there was little effort to raise the grade and in particular the location of one of the buildings HMV were using (I'm assuming the original site, but not 100% certain which one) had been built over the old street, literally by driving steel piles over it and that some of the houses and the original street still existed under the shop in the basement.

I found this yarn fascinating, it has to be said.  A while later I heard another radio phone in where someone was describing the houses and they were used for storing stock.

I've not been able to find anything online to verify this; old maps seem to support there were streets and hearing the same thing twice from different sources gives the story a little credence.

 

Edited by NancyJohnson
Clarity, dear boy. For clarity.
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So maybe a happy ending? Canadian Sunrise Records about to pip Mike Ashley for the chain, although looking like the iconic Oxford Street store is going to close... 

Edited by Al Krow
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