HMV: 'We Didn't Anticipate The Opportunities That The Internet Could Bring'

A spokesman for HMV has admitted that they failed to fully realise the impact that the internet would have on their business.

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A spokesman for HMV has admitted that they failed to fully realise the impact that the internet would have on their business and that they are still paying for their lack of initiative in adapting the store for the online world.

The company's chief executive Simon Fox admitted earlier this week that they had endured "disappointing" sales over Christmas and were widely condemned by business analysts for their failure to deal with the competition from online stores.

Speaking to NME, a spokesman for the entertainment retailer said that though the company were working hard to compete with online retailers, they wish they had embraced the internet's power earlier on.

Asked about whether they felt criticism they had received for failing to adapt to competition from online retailers had been unfair, HMV's spokesman said:

"Clearly, we wouldn't be where we are today without having made some mistakes and the seeds of many of the challenges we now face were actually sown a good 10 or more years ago. There were an amazing generation of people who worked here then - incredibly passionate about music and highly driven, that helped to make HMV a powerhouse of music and entertainment retail, but, ironically, that very same culture arguably blinkered us to some of the changes that were beginning to bubble away around us, including the first stirrings of the internet."

They continued: "It meant that we didn't fully anticipate and act on the opportunities that could potentially be developed online, whereas others did. If we could go back a decade, that's the one thing we'd change."

The spokesman went on to say that they believed HMV was the poster store for the difficulties suffered by music industry in adjusting to the internet and the rise of illegal downloading. They also said that the chain were developing new facilities to make sure they weren't left behind again.

The spokesman added: "Because HMV is a well-known brand, it seems to symbolise many of the changes taking place in the music industry. There's still a lot that we've done right and with some exciting ideas and new developments on the way, we're now looking forwards again, bringing in a full multi-channel experience in which music will play a key part, that will fully bring together our stores with our online and digital services in a way that no one else really can."

Thanks for the report to NME.com.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    buzerumton
    HMV is shit anyway. they never have the album you want and if they do they try and sell it to you for 3 times it's value.
    Eirien
    HMV are good for the niche market stuff but that is not enough to sustain a massive chain of shops.
    HMV has never been good for a niche market. They have about 20-30 bands in the Metal section and most of that is stuff like Blink 182 and Green Day. The metal bands that are featured in their metal section (Sabbath, Pantera, LoG, erm that's about it) have got only 1 or 2 of their most famous albums. This is only an example from 1 genre but I chose to make that the example because it's one of the few genres that actually has its own section. Most stuff is just shoved in the Pop/Rock section.
    WhoAMEye
    HMV are right royally screwed. If you want a song you download or stream from one of a dozen sites if you want the actual disc you by from Tesco/Asda at for about 2/3 the price. HMV are good for the niche market stuff but that is not enough to sustain a massive chain of shops.
    SumFX
    Eirien wrote: HMV has never been good for a niche market. They have about 20-30 bands in the Metal section and most of that is stuff like Blink 182 and Green Day. The metal bands that are featured in their metal section (Sabbath, Pantera, LoG, erm that's about it) have got only 1 or 2 of their most famous albums. This is only an example from 1 genre but I chose to make that the example because it's one of the few genres that actually has its own section. Most stuff is just shoved in the Pop/Rock section.
    Not every HMV stocks the same CD's. Most HMV's i've been to have a massive 'Metal' section with loads of different bands from Burzum to BFMV, and almost full discographys from bands like Sabbath & Maiden. If anything the Reggae section is the most dissapointing bit, as theres hardly anything there apart from some Bob Marley, Steel Pulse, Desmond Dekker and possibly Aswad releases. Some stuff in HMV is overpriced (15 for a Ramones 'End Of A Century' CD? Fuck off!) but some stuff is proper cheap, like Beach Boys 'Pet Sounds' which was just 3. It's not as bad as you are making it out to be, yes you probably wont be able to pick up a King Crimson release for cheap but there is a lot of good stuff for fairly cheap. rant\
    k-lap
    HMV here in Canada does fine and most sections carry a decent variety of stock. However, it still depends on which stores you go to as they each carry different stock.
    munday_
    I work at HMV in Canada and I agree that some stuff can be very pricey but there are tons of cheap music. For people complaining about lack of 'metal' artists or any artist from any genre: you can easily ask to order product. There are a lot of pros and a lot of cons about the business end. Being an employee has a good benefit. And that's cheap vinyl!