HMV store front
HMV store front

UK music and video retailer HMV is seeking UK insolvency protection. While it is hoped they can restructure to many it looks like the end for CD and DVD’s as downloading takes a strong hold of the music and video industry.

HMV - Nipper the dog
HMV stands for “His Master’s Voice”. The company’s logo is Nipper the dog, listening to a vintage gramophone

It has struggled against online competition for many years now and we covered one aspect where they had hoped to diversify – an HMV Cinema Chain.

Tower records stores here in the US closed in 2006. Follow by others including Virgin megastores in 2009 as economic hard times and digital downloads took their toll.

The UK and Irish Virgin music and DVD shops were rebranded as Zavvi following a management buyout in 2007. However the chain later went into administration and closed its last stores in 2009.

HMV is the last remaining national UK music (CD) and video (DVD, BluRay) retailer. It has over 230 stores in the UK and Ireland.

Virgin France is currently also in problems as the list of victims continues.

HMVCurzon - The main entrance
HMVCurzon – The main entrance of HMV in Wimbledon is transformed into the HMV Curzon in the evenings © Jan Vincent-Rudzki

British Video Association – Press release

Commenting on HMV entering administration, Lavinia Carey, Director General at the British Video Association said:

“HMV is the last specialist video retailer and BVA data shows that it has held its share of around 16% of volume sales over the last 10 years, while total market sales rose in the same period from 169 million units to 179 million units.

Meanwhile internet sales have gone from 8.5% to 30% in 2012 but in terms of consumer spending on discs, the internet has taken a larger share of the value, with 19% to HMV and 36% online. The BVA’s year end statement also highlighted that over £0.5 billion was spent by consumers on digital video services.

The BVA sincerely hopes that while in administration the value of this important retailer can be realised so that a re-structure will enable the best performing stores to continue trading and maintain consumer choice and access on the high street.”

(15 January 2013)

About the BVA

The British Video Association exists to champion video entertainment in all its forms, from packaged media such as DVD and Blu-ray Discs through to digital services available on demand, to rent or to own on portable devices and for home viewing.

The proliferation of content delivery channels, now with more than 40 digital video services, is constantly increasing consumer choice and the video industry releases about 7,000 titles a year, on which consumers spent over £2.317 billion in 2012. This compares with the revised figure for 2011 value of £2.361 billion, which includes evolving digital online services. Video is the single most valuable part of the audiovisual sector in terms of generating returns on investment for production.

The BVA’s members include film and television companies and independent labels who produce, license and distribute pre-recorded video entertainment, covering film, sport & fitness, music, TV, children’s and special interest programming. Its members account for some 90% of the sector.

Colin Davies

The editor of Film Review Online